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
A home can be a sacred space for children if adults give it the attention necessary. A mother's essay on modeling devoted action, fostering a healthy will, and creating structure through chores as a powerful, stabilizing force in the household.
To be confronted with a serious illness is to be confronted with a fear of death for most of us. How do we balance hope with realism? And how do we age with grace? Drawing on Atul Gawande's book, Mary Jo Bennett highlights some ways our culture is evolving in its relationship with death.
Does destiny and fate truly exist? An age-old question, to be sure. Courtney Martin ponders that question and traces how each of our paths may be shaped by willful action and serendipitous encounters along the way.
Suffering can be a backstop for unexpected joy. A lyrical "Rumi"ination on shadow, gratitude, and the light of the stranger.
Generosity and gratitude don't require extraordinary means, just the gift of time and attention. Parker and Wendell on giving yourself away.
This week, our executive editor shares readings on the healing and revealing power of tranquility; inspiration to live with hopeful resilience; and other pieces to inspire us to appreciate the simple beauty in everyday life.
We desire to live in meaningful ways, but how do we do so in a rapidly moving modern world? A Benedictine oblate scribes seven principles to help live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.
It’s not easy to genuinely know who we are. The stories others tell about us and the labels society heaps upon us only add to that confusion. But, when we disentangle ourselves from these narratives, we may choose courage over fear and take new risks.
Society has come to value achievement over all else. But what would happen if we began to place less value in doing, and more value in simply being? One woman shares her personal path to fulfillment, and invites us all to a better way of being.
The stories of a person, a family, a culture, a country hold and bind us in ways that are potentially fruitful or harmful. They also give us an identity. A meditation on who we are, how we become, and the stories we tell ourselves along the way.
In an age of iPhone and Instagram ubiquity, we capture and curate in ways unimaginable only a few decades ago. And this connects us in unexpected ways. But, it also can have a cost, one that pulls us out of the moment.
That moment of homecoming has a depth of perspectives and meanings. Through the story of babysitting and a mother's return, Omid Safi sees an opportunity for seeking, finding — and to "be blissful."
Gardening is replete with metaphors for living well. With the help of a May Sarton poem, Parker Palmer builds on a less-obvious metaphor.
We're heading into a brief break here at Loring Park, but before we go — an unexpected flood of canine appreciation, the catharsis of letting go and looking forward, and rising above difference to meet in Rumi's field.
For this Tuesday morning, a poem from Dena Simmons that might make you see things differently on your commute to work.
Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.
At the age of 18, a young woman goes into a coma and faces a near-death experience. For nearly four years, she's hospitalized and tries to find peace and God — in a well-lit intensive care unit — in her dreams. A story of faith, hope, and gratitude for the landscape of dreams.
What gives our lives significance? In a small patch of wilderness, one man searches for meaning and finds sanctuaries for life for creation, and for what life could be.
As a society, we tend not to prioritize silence. When we take a moment to listen and to notice, we make space to be amazed. A meditation on silence, slowing down, and paying attention to allow us to be astonished and the people we want to be.
We spill something on ourselves, and then we postpone the inevitable: the cleaning. We often do the same thing with the pain and anger we inevitably experience. Omid and Rumi have something to say about stain-treating our hearts.
With the words of Rumi echoing loudly, Parker Palmer invites us to explore a "field" of sound ideas and right relationship with one another.
In this Letter from Loring Park, our executive editor lists three compelling reads under five minutes and some of our most popular columns. Enjoy the journey.
The task of the healthy is to be willing to see the same wholeness in those who aren't, to help them understand that they are needed and wanted and complete. A documentary film helps one man ponder how Jesus might frame our understanding of our potential role in modern-day healing.
Change is undeniable. Yet, we expend an immense amount of time and energy trying to alter this basic principle with rigid categorizations. This essay reminds us to embrace the dynamism before us.