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
One woman's journey to a L'Arche community in Kolkata inspires these portraits of caregiving and tenderness in spite of extreme hardship and poverty.
Studies show that increasingly fewer people are friends with our colleagues at work. Longing for more authentic work lives, a new wave of workers are shedding their corporate personas, turning to freelance work, and curating their own working communities in refreshing new ways.
"We live in a state of constant scatteredness," writes Omid Safi. Through the lens of the Hajj, he turns our gaze to the true focus of the journey: to seek, to find, and to be found.
With the words of Rilke, an encouragement to ask life-giving questions and create new pathways.
Our digital selves are becoming an integral part of our real-life identities. A think-piece grappling with the shifting nature of how our digital world is redefining our sense of belonging and its potential to foresee the projected forms of our shared future.
Stories of chaos and turmoil can cause us to lose hope. This week, a few heartening encouragements to help us find the light in the face of despair and appreciate the true worth of those who are undervalued.
Our new series features songs we find beautiful, striking, and wholehearted. Based on our podcast with John O'Donohue, singer-songwriter Emily Kate Boyd penned a gorgeous song worthy of sharing.
As life fleets by, we can get caught up in worrying about what may eventually happen. Through a story of receiving her first senior discount, Sharon Salzberg teaches us to exercise our "letting-go muscle" to be with what is.
For the Jewish High Holy Days, two poems by Esther Cohen paired with photography from Matthew Septimus. They offer words that sound like music, and postcards that become visual prayers and emblems of hope.
Wanderlust, the thrill of travel, is a natural instinct. So, too, is it natural to want to preserve our experiences — to look back with nostalgia and share them with others. A Malaysian Dusun graduate student reflects on the power of "unglossed" moments and looking up to see the true richness of a world ripe with beauty. Plus, poetry from Adrienne Rich and Walt Whitman!
Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish year, is an occasion of hope and renewal. On the eve of this holy holiday, a soul-searching reflection through the metaphor of writing letters — to others, to God, and to oneself.
The image of a small boy's body washed onto the beach awakened the world to the largest refugee crisis in decades. Omid Safi shares his heartbreak, reminding us that love and compassion must lead toward action and must reach across geographical boundaries and borders of faith.
“Benedictine spirituality and Zen Buddhism became the two lungs through which I breathe.” The Belgian author Bieke Vandekerckhove passed away this week. Patrick Henry honors her life by shining a light on The Taste of Silence, her recently translated book on genuine faith — and honest doubt — of a "spiritual giant."
Success so often is identified by how children transcend their parents' class and collar. Rather than continuing this cultural narrative, could the future of work in America be more than just pulling up our bootstraps and climbing the ladder?
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son's loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
The politics of rage so often focuses us on lack of action and despair. But, the broken heart is an important political and personal reality, one that can liberate the mind if exercised properly.
We're officially back into the full swing of production! Amidst the flurry of exciting work, we're grateful for the chance to reflect on the centering power of daily ritual, facing mortality with hope, and defining our lives by the quality of our actions.
For the producers here at Loring Park, it's important to perform every aspect of our work with deliberate thoughtfulness. Here, we offer a behind-the-scenes peek at all that's involved in a seemingly small task: selecting a photo to represent the week's episode.
In the aftermath of her brother's untimely death, a sister contemplates life's darkness — as well as the ever-accessible, unfaltering light which illuminates the path. A call to help recover lost light for those who are in darkness, and for ourselves.
Scientists say there is no such thing as an objective observer. One poet celebrates the participatory, interactive, relational aspects of reality with poetry inspired by John Keats.
Fitness events and organizations are popping up and deepening community in powerful and unexpected ways, which many consider spiritual. A mother and Presbyterian minister tells the story of entering one of those muddy races and finding camaraderie in a manner she longs to experience in her own church.
"The Book of Mormon" made its way to the heart of LDS country, Salt Lake City. Using parody and sarcasm to challenge people and power structures can be a noble one. A practicing Mormon willingly goes to see a well-known musical which ridicules her faith — and emerges unashamed.
The frenetic pace of life can be overwhelming, making ritual even more necessary. But it doesn't have to be religious, or even spiritual in nature. Daily tasks can ground and center us, clearing our minds and helping us focus on the profundity in the seemingly mundane of this world.
When asked how long they'd been married, Aljosie Harding named their time together down to the minute. Omid Safi marvels at the unexpected and profound love that infuses our world at any stage of living — and it's awe-inspiring power to provide hope in the face of grief.
Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature's great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the "vast web of life in which body and spirit are one."