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
Is our so-called polarization a crafted perception? A truth-telling commentary on the problem with polls, the need for curiosity in public life, and a call for a new kind of conversation on what we believe — beyond either/or.
From a virtuosic performance to an audio selfie and poems on abundance, a feast of ideas and passages for you to take into your week.
For International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a suicide survivor asks us open ourselves to loss and allow each other the space to mourn and grieve without shame. If we support the healing of the soul, she writes, we may begin to celebrate our inner resilience and the divine spark in us all.
Atul Gawande's new book on the aging and the dying process inspires this column on turning bearing witness to our own instincts and doing things a different way.
Three male Muslim leaders walk into an Amsterdam hotel to drop off their luggage, and they are presented with an unexpected question. How does one confront the the prejudice present in society today? Can it be confronted, or does it require face-to-face encounters?
The scarcity assumption can be a self-fulfilling prophecy — and a killer of the spirit. With a poem from Wendell Berry and a few thoughts of his own.
Sometimes a song can help us through the darkest hours of our lives. Reflecting upon the loss of her father, Jen Raffensperger shares Josh Ritter's "Lantern" as her greatest musical moment for the Your Audio Selfie project.
Our executive editor's weekly post on all things curious and aspiring — on topics from leading a less busy life to seeking rootedness and a cancer patient's call to her senses.
Listen to this virtuosic performance of Bach's much-heralded chaconne for solo violin — a complicated, messy, transcendent portrait of grief, at once personal and universal.
Before conscious time began, someone cared for you. And you survived. A call to action to remember that someone showed up for you over and over and over again.
Following up on the disease of busyness, Omid explores what we lose when we let the overscheduled nature of our lives take precedence over the loved ones we treasure.
Sometimes the framing question needs to be, well, questioned. A "clearness committee" helps our columnist find a way of asking a transformative question instead of a question of loss.
A daughter reflects on her ailing father and her right to petition God to deliver a World Series victory for their team.
Our executive editor provides an insider's glimpse — with calls for curiosity over goodness, unexpected joy with a Billy Joel duet, and a story of forgiveness and redemption.
We often desire a sense of adventure and travel. But when a "life of wandering" overtakes a "life of rootedness," we take time away from home and community — and "the ground at our own feet."
Our overscheduled lives leave little time for contemplation and reflection. How do we enable each other to pause and reflect together and ask how our hearts are doing?
In the face of so much pain and suffering, some words of advice on how to persevere and the importance of being faithful to your gifts.
Live from The Greene Space, Krista Tippett and Bernard Chazelle talk Bach as a cosmologist of music. Watch the live stream here.
After being diagnosed with cancer, Becky Sennett tells an unlikely story of gratitude — for a reprimanding encounter with a pulmonologist who takes her to task, a compassionate gesture for which she'll be forever grateful.
Chutzpah, humility, and risk-taking are all necessary ingredients in this delightful duet with Billy Joel and a college freshman.
Nowadays there are unintended consequences for just about everything we do. An encouragement to strive for curiosity over goodness, to seek gentleness over righteousness, and engage with ethics as a process rather than a destination.
Dispatches from PopTech, a magnificent essay on Bach, an invitation to find the autobiography of your voice, a meditation on the splendor of Autumn, and an instructive essay on shedding old mindsets.
In a world where we feel more connected to friends on social media friends than our next-door neighbors, an argument that finds hope in Halloween and its ability to bring community together — even if only for a few magical hours.
With the elections next week, a story of forgiveness and redemption from a civil rights legend.
Riding the El train in Chicago prompts this essay on the pervasive grip of harshness and the vitality of gentleness. How can we be gentle with others when we struggle with being gentle with our selves first?