A bridge during the thundersnow storm. (Photo of Jonathan / Flick, cc by-nc-nd 2.0)
The comforting quote on this gorgeous snowy, winter evening (yes, we had thundersnow in April!) from Edna St. Vincent Millay:
"Beauty is whatever gives joy."
This encapsulation by sketchnote artist Doug Neill has to be one of my favorite ideas from Krista's interview with theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss:
Science changes our perspective of our place in the cosmos, just like art, music, and literature.
It's derived from this part of their conversation at the Chautauqua Institution:
"Most people don't have to know how to build the detailed things of science, but the ideas change our perspective of our place in the cosmos. And to me, that's what great art, music, and literature is all about — is when you see a play or see a painting or hear a wonderful piece of music. In some sense, it changes your perspective of yourself. And that's what science does in a profoundly important way and a way with content that matters."
When you believe strongly in an idea, how do you shepherd it into being? After a half-a-dozen years of pitching Lawrence Krauss as a guest, I finally figured out how to frame it properly. For those of you interested in the sausage-making of a pitch to Krista, a post explaining how patience, perseverance, and timing are virtues that may serve you well working on this show. Hearing this production makes it all the more gratifying.
"Without Art we should have no notion of the sacred; without Science we should always worship false gods."
These words from W.H. Auden's The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays seem a fine way to tie up this thread, non?
On a more somber note, Tiffany Stanley (@tifflstanley), managing editor of the excellent Religion & Politics, shared this photo via Twitter, which I found particularly powerful:
Crosses, crescents, stars on National Mall for #gunviolence victims since Newtown.
After reading John Priesen's thorough and sensitively written article on the 15-year anniversary of the Jonesboro shootings, I tweeted:
Healing isn't a noun in this story. It's an active verb that has no thoughts of completion. Ongoing and never ending.
"The Ghosts Of Jonesboro" is a long read and thoroughly worthwhile. Perhaps it can be a source of learning for places like Newtown after all the media attention fades away.
The Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön has a way of distilling ideas about pain and suffering that resonates with so many of our readers:
"When there is a great disappoint- ment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure."
Is it because she offers a practical way forward? I'd be grateful to read your reflections on this question.
"Spirituality doesn't look like sitting down and meditating. Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family even though you've had a long day.
It's enfolded into the act of parenting. You fold the towels in a sweet way. It doesn't take extra time."
An abrupt turn. Catholic Latinos in the U.S. are not only turning to evangelical and Pentecostal churches. There is also a resurgence of interest in Aztec spirituality and dance!
"What we're doing is praying with our feet, with our bodies."
Latinos are turning to the spiritual practices and ancient traditions of their indigenous ancestors, and finding "a mestizo way of life." Shweta Saraswat's article might give you a glimpse of what's going on in your neighboring communities that you might not even be aware of.
Art evolves in its iterations, and it's fascinating to see how Doug Neill's graphic recording session of our show with Brené Brown progresses before our very eyes. The final result is this image to the right.
"Hope is a function of struggle. Kids need to face adversity"
Check out this time-lapse video capturing his graphic recording session and see our resident sketchnote artist in action.
Coming full circle, I'm buoyed by thoughts that one one day I will visit and see the cherry blossoms of Ueno up close and in person. Imperial beauty.