Moments: in innocent incidents and everday occurrences; in the words we use; in letters, text messages; in natural phenomena; in lines of poetry, anecdotes; in chance meetings; in the comings and goings of everyday life … Writer and broadcaster John Quinn’s new anthology, Moments, is a personal collection of words, events and observations that console, cheer, nourish, heal. Moments that are brief and often fleeting but, once caught and held, offer meaning to our lives and bear significance in their very simplicity, opening the door into what Yeats called ‘the rag and bone shop of the heart …’
The ‘moments’ contained within are drawn from John’s personal and professional life and, as a collection, they offer the reader opportunities to pause and reflect – little oases in our busy modern lives.
||John Quinn is a former RTÉ radio broadcaster. Previous publications by Veritas include Goodnight Ballivor, I’ll Sleep in Trim, also the subject of a TG4 documentary,Letters to Olive: Sea of Love, Sea of Loss, Seed of Love, Seed of Life and Credo: Personal Testimonies of Faith.
‘A lovely book.So elegantly produced, not to mention the wonderful writing! It's an honour to be included in it.’
– Shirley Hughes
‘An elegant book, composed with grace & consideration.’
– Brian Friel
For busy people short meditations offer the greatest possibility of spiritual nourishment during the day. Few recent publications meet such a need better than John Quinn’s Moments, a small, hardback collection of almost 200 such meditations, many of them beautifully illustrated by Loreto Reilly. As Sr Stanislaus Kennedy points out in the foreword, these 60 second ‘moments’ offer an opportunity for those who take the time to peruse them to recover awareness of the present moment.
This is especially important in a world where we find endless distractions from our inner selves and temptations to live in the future rather than the present often simply skimming life’s surface rather than delving into its depth and significance. One memorable reflection is simply entitled ‘Cows 1’ and refers to the familiar image for rural dwellers of the May meadow where cows ‘chewing contentedly while rhythmically flicking their tails at nuisance flies – that is surely the essence of summer.’ John Constable could hardly have painted a better scene for the imagination.
While using copious quotations from other sources poetic and literary in addition to references from diverse works the author manages to put his own unique stamp on each chapter. Some of the meditations offer telling glimpses of personalities he encountered like Spike Milligan and Sean McBride, others awaken sadness such as ‘In Auschwitz’ where he leaves with dreadful images of ‘Cascades of hair, mountains of suitcases, and shoes and shoes and children’s shoes.’ A memorable and meaningful collection.
- Fr Paul Clayton-LeaClogherhead, Co Louth
During his time in RTÉ, John Quinn made rigorous radio programmes that captured the ideal that, as Paddy Kavanagh once penned, wherever ‘life pours, ordinary plenty’. This neat volume of miniature essays – reflections really – captures those moments in life that can so easily slip by unless we sing them aloud. Chance meetings, brief encounters, unexpected texts and other seemingly insignificant incidents that allow the heart to sing are snared in this book (the title borrowed from William Wordsworth’s The Prelude). In a few pages we go from a swinging afternoon listening to Benny Goodman’s joyful concert, Live at Carnegie Hall, recorded in January 1938, to a misty morning visit to the echoing hell of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Here are thoughts that prove, despite all, that life is beautiful.
- Donal O’Donoghue, RTÉ GUIDE