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
Anger is something many of us try to deny. Rather than quelling it, what if we were to use it as an animating force for personal transformation and social change?
Poets and philosophers may be the mystics of our day, bridging the two worlds and bearing witness to seen and unseen.
What you might've missed: a simple video, a helpful list, a timely perspective, and a meditative essay on people and place.
The recollection of the loss of an elm tree strengthens one woman's resolve to find a renewed sense of hope for the urban planting of America.
A behind-the-scenes narrative of how the music in our podcasts find its way serendipitously into our production process — all by way of hip hop aficionado Imani Perry. Lauryn Hill comes through in a pinch.
A powerful essay on the responsibility of raising black sons in America. Against the forces of injustice and the brutal truth of racial inequality, a scholar and a mother finds hope in community and the knowledge that "together we create gardens of possibility in the parched earth."
Inspired by the simplicity and power of Naomi Shihab Nye's story, here's a list of five simple things we can do to help with healing the heart of democracy.
The video of Ray Rice hitting Janay Rice has prompted all sorts of responses. Rather than resorting to humiliation and social isolation, how do we deal with generational legacies of violence when it confronts us in the news cycle? A call to see the pain before us, and create consequences and opportunities for cultural transformation — not public shaming.
Our executive editor's weekly missive, including a smart testimony on the value of work, a Mary Oliver poem on suffering and joy, a call for headlines that reflect the fullness of the world, and a stunning body of paintings from Rabindranath Tagore.
Join us for an evening of music and conversation with musician Carrie Newcomer. Watch a live video stream of the conversation, followed by a short musical set by the singer-songwriter.
In this meditation on a quiet town, the everyday rhythms take many forms. In the ordinary the sacred resides.
Lists can be fun. How about we create a community of learning and sharing for continued growth!
When an Icelandic singing group reprises an 800-year-old Scandinavian hymn, a German train station is transformed — and so are all who watch and listen.
How do we process all the heartbreaking news, be informed citizens, and not become detached? Is being uninformed a moral decision? One way is for media and consumers to demand headlines that reflect the fullness of the world — including the fortifying solutions happening too.
Our executive editor pulls together a mix of live events, sneak previews, and words from some of our favorite thinkers and columnists who make this world a better place to become.
How does one have a more supple heart that's read to hold life's suffering and joy? Finding a way in through a Mary Oliver poem and some guiding words.
A sneak preview of Krista Tippett's scintillating conversation with classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Our weekly columnist sends up a white flag to the insurance company, but in the end draws something more precious than money: her time and attention.
Advice on living... from saying no to say yes and the lost skills of the cowboy code.
As school begins for many students across the U.S., a reminder to praise our teachers and offer "soft eyes" of compassion to our children.
Tagore took up painting late in life, in his 60s. But his prodigious aptitude produced nearly 2500 paintings and drawings in a span of just 15 years. In this essay, our guest scholar introduces Tagore's technique and his place within the art world — featuring a curated collection of Tagore's most evocative paintings.
What if an app could track your spiritual health as well as your physical health? A religion reporter wonders what interventions might remind us to pause, pay attention, and shift perspective.
When you do too much and say "yes" to too many requests, what happens? Some advice on why it's vital to decline in order to accept the invitations that matter most.
Courtney Martin's column on reckoning inspired this unexpected campaign on telling our own stories of privilege.
Our executive editor's weekly missive, including a powerful conversation on suicide and the choice to stay, a healing poem on solidarity and depression, a call to face our ghosts and show courage in the wake of Ferguson, and a moment of unexpected joy.