"When you think of who you are this morning, you are who you are at this time in your life because of certain choices that you made. Say, when you were twelve, you stood in front of maybe five possibilities, and you chose the first one. Then things went on until you were eighteen, and suddenly it opened up and became ten again.This time, you chose number seven. Then it went on again and then when you were 28, maybe you were down to three; this time you took two. When you were 40, it was up to five; this time you took four. And so you chose, always, one choice. But the interesting question to ask is, what has happened to the lives that you didn’t choose. Where are they? Where do your unlived lives dwell?"- John O’Donohue (an excerpt from one of his talks on Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace”)
I took this photo last weekend and have been coming back to it each day. It stirred something deep in my core. The solitary beauty of this frozen moment as she gazes through the branches into the depths of the blue sky- it mesmerizes me each time I look at it.Yesterday, I heard the words under it in the author's lilting Irish accent, and I couldn't breathe for a minute. That sounds odd... like his voice just appeared over my shoulder and whispered in my ear. Not exactly. I was practicing my new cleaning technique (which is only different from my old one in that I listen to podcasts as I do the never-ending tasks of keeping my home together: laundry, dishes, etc. I highly recommend it.). I was listening to John O' Donohue, the late Irish poet and philosopher. itunes has this talk available in the audiobook section for only a couple of dollars and it is well worth it, as he's lovely to listen to. (Thanks to Lis for pointing the way) It's a beautiful talk, but that last sentence stuck with me the most.
Where do your unlived lives dwell?He went on to say that he suspects that our unchosen and unlived lives continue to live themselves out "secretly and in accompaniment with us". This has given me so much to ponder within my own story, and even more so to think about as I parent my children.
Have a beautiful and thoughtful weekend!
p.s. the gratitude bucket winner has been announced in the post below.