On the Blog
A potpourri of thinking on joy, letting suffering speak, writing poetry, and the wisdom of children — as curated by Trent Gilliss.
The highly acclaimed and beloved poet Mary Oliver reads her four-part poem, "The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac," — a poem in which she explores death, purpose, and the call to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago.
When age and experience dwindle our capacity for wonder, the books of our childhood may be our salvation and our "thin places" where the boundary between the material and the magical opens ourselves to wonder all over again.
Children ask questions that challenge the best of parents. They also expose the weaknesses of our responses. A set of reflections from a black South African mother and activist who is confronted by the truth of her daughter's words and embracing the "weirdness" of their "dark brown and peach" family.
The killing of three college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has shaken the Muslim community to its core. Omid Safi remembers the extraordinary human beings we lost and the pain that may lead to a new civil rights movement.
Cynicism beckons to us with ease at times. But how do we remain open to the good within and around us? A reminder to keep hope alive when the demon inside us bites down. And, lyrical lines from Mary Oliver!
Our executive editor wraps up the week with stories to help you think about MLK differently and the horrors happening in the news. Also, he shares our new iPad app and some openings at On Being for you to consider!
In a rare interview with the master poet, she recites her classic poem — and tells the story of how "Wild Geese" came into being. It might surprise you.
Last week, in a somewhat surprising move, the LDS Church issued a statement seeking to do more to recognize and respect LGBT people and families. In this smart essay, David Blankenhorn sees this announcement as a good, "morally right" step, despite objections from those pulling from the Culture War Handbook.
Mary Oliver's poems often feel like prayers as much as poems. In her own voice, she recites one of our favorites that feels like an incantation.
How do we reckon with horror and injustice in the wake of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh's killing by ISIS. Omid Safi on remembering and honoring the man, and not the horrible video effigy being shown over and over.
A sampling of our best picks of the week on everything from vocation to multitasking, honoring teachers and Alzheimer's patients. And some ways to join On Being in the studio or on your iPad.
A young woman of Nigerian descent grew up thinking of Dr. King as "distant American hero." On this first day of Black History Month, she shares how she came to understand this American icon differently — and how his complex + contradictory human side creates an opening for all of us to be heroic, and not perfect.
Trying to confront the recent horror stories in the news, a Dutch theology student contemplates the origins of evil and our reckoning with good through the lens of the Harry Potter films. Our temptations, he writes, are rooted in deep-seated ills — and our strengths, in love.
Researchers are showing that doing it all at the same time is a “diabolical illusion.” If we know this, why does it continue to be so seductive, so alluring? In this technological, overambitious age, a commentary on striving to be focused and whole again.
An immigrant child from Iran who transitioned to several high schools, Omid Safi shares the story of a Chemistry teacher who saw the potential in him. A quest to find her and thank her for forever changing his life — and that of generations to come.
No matter what decade of your life you're in, your journey to find a fulfilling work life is one often clouded with worry and self-doubt. Parker Palmer writes this helpful story about finding the way — not by what opens in front of you but by what closes behind you.
Mary Oliver with some 140-character gems teams up with guidelines on designing ritual for the "Nones" and an essay on the distance to suffering. Also, sharing some quotations from our new iPad app and a humanizing speech from MLK.
How can we recover virtue and integrity in a world of insult and violence? And how do we respond? A commentary from a man searching for models of illumination and compassion who bring light into the world — and finding them in Dr. Du Bois and the Prophet Muhammad.
When one grows up without a faith tradition, where does one turn? An Argentinian children's book writer maps her journeys in faith, the lack of conviction, and the surprising path to devotion — all in her own backyard.
In a day where more and more wedding ceremonies are not presided over by an official religious figure, there's much to figure out when it comes to designing a ritual. Some practices to consider for modern nuptials.
Watch this interview between our columnist Omid Safi and MSNBC's Chris Hayes about the imbroglio over the call to prayer at Duke University.
Our conversation on the inner life rebellion inspires a 23-year-old singer-songwriter to write a song that embodies the rebellious energy she senses within herself and her generation. Take a listen; it's a treat.
The joys and sorrows of your life are sure to come and go. A commitment to learning at any age will sustain you and help you weather the peaks and troughs of life.
This past week has been one of extreme darkness and anxiety. But how do we, individually and collectively, think through and deal with these moments of our lives? A survey of writers on finding our way and building the beloved community we aspire to.