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
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.
Whether you're inwardly or outwardly lost, there's an alternative to panicking. Advice on how to find where you are with a David Wagoner poem.
A mix of unexpected joy from a prairie trombone and a Finnish folk band playing AC/DC paired with a sage Nobel Prize-winning Bengali, a nonagenarian from Boston, and columnists Parker and Courtney. Quite swath of things to think about and carry into the week.
As part of a conversation with the Church of Ireland about the question of human sexuality, our special contributor confesses his "gay agenda": to love the gospels; to love repentance; to love words and courage and my partner; and to show love to each other on our great endeavor.
In his interview with Krista Tippett, the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho surprised us by recalling Krista's 2010 TED talk at the United Nations. It is in wrestling with ourselves and our contradictions, he says, that we uncover the breeding grounds of compassion.
Rather than merely expressing outrage at what happened in Ferguson, white Americans must show courage and own its part of the tragic story and the opportunity for transformation.
Thoughtful words on standing in solidarity with others suffering from depression and the healing experience of a poem.
In a society uncomfortable discussing death, a new museum in Brooklyn is taking up the charge. Barbara Becker offers her perspective on the exhibition, "The Art of Mourning."
A mix of fresh commentary on the burden and joy of being human, a meditation on the suffering of Job, a thought piece on the value of relatability, and an homage to Krista and the vast, unending terrain of mystery.
In a culture with too few rituals, what role does drink play in the contemporary rituals of our times? Courtney Martin on memory, communal moments, and the potential for a true suspension of self.
An artist of the Bharatanatyam classical dance tradition, Ranee Ramaswamy reflects on how she lives forward the art and imagination of Rabindranath Tagore into the 21st century.
Some good humor on forgetfulness and poignant verse from the poet Billy Collins to sweeten the swallow.
This unassuming video requires a bit of patience. At first, it appears that a lone cowboy is having some fun in a lawn chair in the middle of the prairie. But, stick with it. Music always delivers.
A joy-filled week of presidential honors, exciting previews of our new tablet app, and hay bale architecture that will stimulate the mind, the eye, and the ear.
Rather than being defined by what she's not, Courtney Martin offers a more complex perspective from a new generation of seekers. An introduction to our new weekly columnist who will offer fresh ways of looking at "the burden and joy of trying to understand how to be a good human."
Parker Palmer pays homage to Krista Tippett with some words of wisdom on "the savage and beautiful country that lies in between."
Watch President Obama award the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to deserved recipients, including our very own Krista Tippett.
What if it turns out that faith is truly existential, not a leap of faith but a reality already there for us to notice and accept? A meditation and a poem on the suffering of Job.
A confluence of sources show kindred minds meet for the first time. How Thoreau's quote went viral. Millennials don't do and sage advice from Maya Angelou.