A Charm Against the Language of Politics Say over and over the names of things, the clean nouns: weeping birch, bloodstone, tanager, Banshee damask rose. Read field guides, atlases, gravestones. At the store, bless each apple by kind: McIntosh, Winesap, Delicious, Jonathan. Enunciate the vegetables and herbs: okra, calendula. Go deeper into the terms of some small landscape: spiders, for example. Then, after a speech on compromising the environment for technology, recite the tough, silky structure of webs: tropical stick, ladder web, mesh web, filmy dome, funnel, trap door. When you have compared the candidates’ slippery platforms, chant the spiders: comb footed, round headed, garden cross, feather legged, ogre faced, black widow. Remember that most short verbs are ethical: hatch, grow, spin, trap, eat. Dig deep, pronounce clearly, pull the words in over your head. Hole up for the duration.
On the Blog
Politics can divide more often than unite. But, deep involvement in the civic sphere doesn't mean we have to sacrifice empathy and civility.
On the Blog
With the ever-widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor, statistics abound. But they fail to animate the human spirit. Story is a way into history and "teaching our hearts how to live as choiceful human beings."
Sometimes the lead is the anecdote. A humorous story from a Nobel laureate that will bring a smile to your face and other instruction on powering down, offering help, bearing responsibility, and mystical connections.
More than 50 years ago, Thomas Merton warned that the pressure of modern life might distract us from the wisdom that makes work fruitful.
A page torn from an ancient woman's journal prompts this poetic meditation on brokenness and beauty.
An encouragement to be "children of the moment," a people with the spiritual discipline of being fully present in the here and now.
What's that one song you listen to over and over again? The one that elevates you to a space bigger than yourself, the one that gives you chills every time you hear it play. Share and we just may reach out to you for the next installment of the Your Audio Selfie project.
There is a place beyond exhaustion, when asking 'What can I do to help?' is inadequate and burdensome. A commentary on how we can practice the art of generosity, to reach beyond the ease of asking towards the grit of doing.
Highlights of some of the most heartening work our executive editor has read this past week, including Tara Mohr's advice to women on taking in criticism, seeing the sacred in the mundane, engaging our prophets, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into photos we chose.
The poet W.S. Merwin calls us to our mystical connections with the people in front and behind us.
The power of song on the radio connects three worlds to one woman, ushering her into the eternal present by conjuring up memories of the past.
Invoking the words of Heschel, a Muslim scholar hearkens back to the prophetic tradition and asks what it means to be morally responsible in a world of ISIS and American empire?
In a world of many distractions, the Buddhist sage says, it may be our own cravings that may be most deleterious to our well-being. Watch and listen.
Sometimes the most sacred experiences happen in the most mundane of places: in a big box store, after your spouse empties the litter box, or during an encounter with a taxi driver.
Our executive editor's weekly missive: a season of autumn invitations, a thoughtful essay on male friendship, confessions of an accidental feminist, a joyful contemplation on being Mormon in the modern world, and an unexpected moment of generosity.
With the political season in full swing, a reminder that the great prophets were courageous, outrageous people who railed against the powers-that-be. And a poem by Mary Oliver.
How many of us are ready to step into the gaze of someone — including ourselves — who sees us as we really are?
Our executive editor rounds up things seen and unseen — from poetry and trees to anger and rhythm.
During the High Holy Days, a daughter remembers her father and the blessing he was as he aged — with memory and a poem.
Emma Watson's challenging and inspirational speech creates an opening for our senior producer to reflect, reframe, and reclaim her sense of feminism.
Men's ability to maintain sustained, intimate friendships with other men may be the key to unlocking a revolution of a new type of connection — and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
Autumn reminds our Quaker columnist about the beauty of the Earth and the death that is to come. Through the words of Rilke, an exploration of the wellspring of gratitude.
When we opened our doors to the public for Northern Spark, the rain poured late into the night in Minneapolis. And so did the festival-goers into our studios. A story of one Somali woman's idea of a scene she has yet to see.
A young man's humorous, joyful, and reflective contemplation about being Mormon, leaving Utah for a Radiolab internship in New York, and developing an evolving identity for himself. A profound and startlingly honest portrait of modern faith.
When life grabs you by the scruff of the neck, how do you cope with the stress and anxiety? A column on the art of reassuring oneself that all will be well.