Soul light

John O’Donohue writes about the soul shelter. Rather than go out on a journey to find one’s soul or even to find it somewhere hidden within the body’s recesses, he suggests that the converse is true. That our body is in the soul and the soul suffuses us completely. Therefore all around you is a secret and beautiful soul light. This recognition suggests a new art of prayer.

Imagine a light all around you, the light of your soul. Then with your breath draw that light into your body and bring it with your breath into every area of your body. One of the oldest meditations is to imagine the light coming into you, and then on your outward breath to imagine that you are exhaling the darkness. When you bring cleansing, healing soul light into your body, you heal the neglected, tormented places.

In his book Anam Cara, he writes ‘The soul is the natural shelter around your life and will gather around you to mind you. . . . I love the idea of Blaise Pascal that in difficult times, you should always keep something beautiful in your heart. Perhaps, as a poet said, it is beauty that will save us in the end’.

I say that as well as keeping some thing of beauty in my heart, that one of my tasks as an artist is to work a thing of beauty out of the difficult and vulnerable times.

About three years ago I went through a long and difficult winter. On the other side, I wrote, I wrought, Solstice Dawn, a poem about daybreak bringing to a close the longest night of the year.

In my exploration of incorporating text into my fibre art I’ve been searching for a technique to write this poem onto a wall-based piece. I made a series of monoprints a couple of weeks ago based on my design and stamped the words of the poem onto the prints with copper ink. It’s a very rough draft, but the making of it helped me to realise that I may make the final piece in more than one panel.

I’ve made a video of the work in progress, incorporating my poem and a beautiful piece of cello music, a sarabande by J.S. Bach from his Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major.

Wrought (v.)

An old past tense and a past participle of work.


  1. Worked into shape by artistry or effort; put together; created: a carefully wrought plan.
  2. Elaborated; not rough or crude.
  3. Made delicately or elaborately.

[Middle English wroght, from Old English geworht, past participle of wyrcan, to work.]


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