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
Whether to persevere or to surrender often determines the story of our lives. The question is knowing when to hang on and when to let go. A look at the common conundrum that results when life causes tension between two virtues.
The Philippine-Catholic ritual of pabasa reveals the power of song to reacquaint us with tradition, bridge superficial divides, and connect us through the kinship of our imperfections.
To turn down an opportunity seems counterintuitive. But how can we transform an excess of asks into opportunities for other people to shine? A column on living the less-harried life that "keeps us weighted down with self-importance."
The paths we walk through life can be rife with obstacles, some small and others that seem unsurmountable. A few reminders we're not alone in our struggles, and that nurturing our connection with those around us can help us thrive in this complex world.
The ego must die in order for love to rise. Omid Safi with a praise song for the maturing face of love.
What makes each child unique cannot be measured or scored. A nourishing story from a school principal on the "many ways of being smart" and testing children.
Watch the live video stream of Krista Tippett speaking about the mystery and art of living with poet Christian at Yale University's Battell Chapel on November 3rd!
Many seek the unique freedom only found in nature's wide open spaces. A multimedia sculptor and photographer explores the roots of her artistic creations in her intimate connection with nature's “unknowable infinity.”
Too often, we confuse love with attachment. Sharon Salzberg on striking a balance between needing and a generosity of the heart — for ourselves, for all beings, for life itself.
An affirmation of presence, a victory of joy, a connection maintained: these are the things a young mother observes in her elderly next door neighbors, as a husband gently tends to his wife in her final days. A beautiful account of what love truly looks like.
Can the process of grieving go on too long? Especially when you write about it for a living? Jane Gross on her bout with understanding death's unsettled trajectory.
Civilizations elevate the best in cultures and people. A composer encourages us to rethink the phrase "clash of civilizations" and, by definition, civilization can only fuel human flourishing.
In the absence of a religious tradition, is there a fundamental need for prayer? Courtney Martin on finding comfort in praying to her late, burly grandfather rather than a god to whom she couldn't relate.
There's an elephant in the interfaith dialogue room. Omid Safi with a critical look at the uneven speaking field in America for Muslims and how the politics of Palestine/Israel shapes and affects Abrahamic interfaith dialogue.
Alain de Botton's short piece of writing on love and loneliness is elegantly handled in this animated short by Hannah Jacobs and Lara Lee.
In response to Courtney Martin's letter, Parker Palmer corresponds with his dear friend about the uncertainty of life. A contemplation on the value of being vulnerable and open to supportive friends.
A mix of selected essays and posts on the magic and mystery of making, the art of family communication, and murmurations on a pond.
Virtual reality technology is hinting at new possibilities, including the unexpected potential of “VR” to shape our inner lives, identities, and values — and lead to a fuller appreciation of the lives we have.
For those who feel weary of the journey, Kristen Graves names "the grace in struggle," wrapped in the image of an ever flowing river. Our Monday Evening Melody for this autumn day.
To always be a beginner is frustrating to many of us. What if we embraced this as a choice rather than a deficiency? Sharon Salzberg on sticking it out and the right effort of beginning again.
The KonMari method includes the simple act of asking the question, "Does this spark joy?" A woman testifies to the transformational potential of creating an organized, mindful space.
The journey through cancer is one of hard-earned lessons about everyday living. Mark Nepo shares a dream about a rickety bridge and his insights into the unknown other — and how we might allow the stranger to inhabit our lives and the unexpected wholeness it brings.
Courtney Martin reclaims the lost art of letter writing with this epistolary correspondence to Parker Palmer about purpose and how we can seize it while still acting with integrity.
What would it take for us to look under the skin of happiness and make haste to being whole? Rather than looking to the self-help aisle, where might we look?