Archives For God


The Painted Face of God is a “blessing” performed by Dr. Clarrisa Pinkola Estes, the Jungian psychiatrist best known for her best seller, Women Who Run With The Wolves.  The Painted Face of God  can be found, or rather listened to, on the epic  audio collection of poet-philosopher John O’Donohue’s   Longing and Belonging.

In the audio foreword to the collection, Dr. Estes speaks in memoriam of her friendship with  O’Donohue who died suddenly at age 52 in 2008. It is a beautiful piece made even more lovely by Estes’ voice.  She has one of the world’s great storytelling voices.

Since I could not find the “blessing” or poem anywhere on the internet including Dr. Estes’ website, I transcribed it from the audio performance and have hung it here with some keywords.  Surely there will be those who have been searching for it.

“John” whom she refers to is John O’Donohue. “Anam cara” means “soul friend” in Gaelic.

The Painted Face Of God

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I’ve often thought in my life how hard it will be to leave this earth

And once when I was so ill and lay dying and crying

Thinking how horrible to leave the people I so loved

As though I would never see them, ever again

Those most precious to me

To never hold them, smell them, hear them again

And especially also to leave the mysterium of this earth

Our beloved yellow sun

Our brilliant blue sky

Our mother of pearl shining moon

Our green grasses

Our purple heather

Our black-winged raptors

Our silver wolves

Our colored songbirds

All these of such beauty

A seeming nowhere else known in the entire universe

To leave this painted face of god

That we lived mirrored upon

This painted face of god

That teaches us through the seasons of flowers and pines on mountains

And creatures and red hearts beating

In flurries all over the world

In all that moves with purpose on earth

In all else

How can anyone believe that here on earth is not god

Right here on earth

How can we leave

This magnificent, incandescent, radiant, beautiful painted face of god

On earth

And I wept and I grieved

How can we leave this beautiful god on holy earth

So filled with gems and diamonds and gold and silver

And all the elements of wonder

And I wept

But in time now as many years have passed in my life

As I gather more years

I am able to see better now the far encampment in my own life

And coming closer and closer now

In the seventh decade of my life

To all the time travel awaiting me

And awaiting us all

I realize, I realize yes, god is here on earth

We are with god here

So very very yes

And that we travel one day

From god here on earth

To the star-rapt god riding across the sky

That they are the same

That we may leave in this way or in that way

But we are only traveling

From our precious painted god on earth

To our precious star-rapt god of the cosmos

That we are not leaving

We are only traveling

Leaving god to go to god

And so it is for John

And so it will be for us one day

And thus we are together on the journey now

Some a little ahead

Some a little behind

But not apart

Not ever

We are all traveling together

So may it be for you

And so may it be for me

And so may it be for all of us

Ride on, dear anam cara, friend John

Ride on white