A Copenhagen Flash Mob Moment. Flannery's Honesty. What It Means to Be a Girl. A Pugilistic Moment.

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 6:40am

A Copenhagen Flash Mob Moment. Flannery's Honesty. What It Means to Be a Girl. A Pugilistic Moment.

by Trent Gilliss (@TrentGilliss),  Executive Editor / Chief Content Officer

Each week I write a weekly column trying to capture and replay a tiny bit of the incredible conversations and efforts taking place behind the scenes at On Being. Sometimes it's a listener's response on our Facebook page or a gorgeous photo on Instagram, but it's often intriguing. If you'd like to receive my column in your email inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Credit: Trent Gilliss

This video will put a smile on your face.
Guaranteed.

Anecdote: Do you ever have one of those moments when you intend to use one word — but type another? In a deadline-driven business, this can result in some embarrassing mistakes. This week I made one: typing "dulcimer" when I intended to use "dulcet." When promoting a musical flash mob, well, this became misleading. Leave it to our Facebook and Twitter audiences to promptly correct me.

@Beingtweets You mean dulcet! 'Dulcimer' is a noun, meaning one of two folk instruments, neither of which appears in the video.
— Xopher Halftongue (@Halftongue) July 8, 2014

Thank you for sticking with me.

What a marvelous week! Krista conducted her first face-to-face interview in our studios on Loring Park. Gordon Marino, a wonderfully evocative writer who's a philosopher that covers boxing for The New York Times talks Søren Kierkegaard and pugilism. When talking about the merits of the sport, he speaks about tenderness among competitors and "the sunshine of affirmation." Beautiful grist to sit with.

Flannery O'Connor, age 22, with Robie Macauley and Arthur Koestler at Amana Colonies in Iowa (October 9, 1947).

Credit: C. Cameron Macauley License: Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0).
"You run like a girl." "You throw like a girl."


These are two phrases I was brought up with. And, I'm ashamed to admit it, I have found myself slipping into using them every so often, even though I have an athletic sister who used to dominate me in our younger years and a heady wife who defy these stereotypes every day. This video from Always is an advertisement, and it's something I’ll show my boys and remind myself of the power of language — and when not to use it.

Flannery O'Connor's A Prayer Journal is a treasure. And many of our readers flocked to this post highlighting her profound honesty and vulnerability during her formative years.

"What I am asking for is really very ridiculous. Oh Lord, I am saying, at present I am a cheese, make me a mystic, immediately. But then God can do that — make mystics out of cheeses."

I'll leave you with this verse from Rumi, which I posted on our Tumblr:

Don't turn you head.
Keep looking
at the bandaged place.
That's where
the light enters you.

You can reach me by email at tgilliss@onbeing.org or via Twitter at @trentgilliss. And, as always, advice, criticism, pitches, leads. I'm open to all of your feedback.

May the wind always be at your back.
Trent

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Trent Gilliss is executive editor of On Being and chief content officer of Krista Tippett Public Productions. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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Hey, Trent! Not to worry about your minor typo when you wrote "dulcimer" instead of "dulcet." In a book I published some years ago, I made several references to the Biblical story where -- as I tell it -- the Devil tries to tempt Jesus to perform the miracle of "turning bread into stones." When someone pointed this reversal out to me, and I got past my embarrassment, I thought, "Hell, that's no miracle. I've done that myself!"

Wonderful note here and on the linked page about F O'C. "A cheese"--Hole-y in one sense, yearning to be holy in another. Which makes the Rumi verse all the more apt. Or Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Hey, Trent-- about that "Run Like a Girl" thing? Thanks.