A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.
What if our relationship with God were more long, tender, even humorous?
On the approach to his 78th birthday, Parker offers up a gift: six learnings that prove that our personal evolution spans the whole length of life, and continues in the generations we nurture forward.
Life’s tragedies can make the road ahead seem like a barren vista. But our losses can also clear space for courageous new beginnings.
Prescient words from Parker Palmer, Omid Safi, Courtney E. Martin, Broderick Greer, and recommended listens/reads from Tim Ferriss and The Economist.
Animated by solitude in the winter woods, Parker J. Palmer on seeing the hidden and potential beauty beneath what’s superficial in the world we face.
A robust hope can be found in the work and life of Langston Hughes, infused with a visionary love for words and the world.
Our dreams can be great motivators. But what if what we aspire to is already within our grasp? A poem on letting go of the stress of ambition and embracing our innate potential.
From the mysterious alchemy of place to gut feelings and nature’s enveloping soundtrack — investigations into the scenery that colors our inner and outer lives.
With the wisdom of Jane Kenyon, a contemplation on gratitude and ordinary grace in our own finite lives.
After an exchange with an angry man, a poem about a woodland encounter bestows unexpected guidance — about how acknowledging the spaces we share can be what closes the gaps between us.
Dave Chappelle as an imperfect spiritual mentor; the importance of life’s valleys alongside its peaks; reconnecting to lost family histories, and finding new ways to uplift each other through thick and thin.
Should we reframe the American narrative? Is there an art to conversation? Can sports refs teach us a thing or two about democracy? Questions and conversations that are pointing us north from all the niches of life.
A return to the gritty heart of the Christmas season, and a vision for a holiday celebration that does real and practical good for those around us.
As we turn the seasonal corner to the longest nights of the year, a reflection on the time we spend in the darkness, and what we can learn from it before turning back to the light.
Even at our most broken and scattered, Mary Oliver seems to say, we can uncover new wholeness by examining each shattered piece.
Leonard Cohen’s timeless lyrics are a beacon of hope for even the most broken among us. An expression of gratitude to our latest lost legend.
Some years ago, I came across one of the most intriguing book titles that I have ever seen. It was…
A life doesn’t have to be extraordinary to have an impact in the world. A reminder that we can build lives that have meaning, no matter what cards we’re dealt.
Meaning and learning present themselves to us in unexpected ways. Commentaries on keeping ourselves open to surprising lenses on life, and to how they can enrich our relationships, our work, and our play.
Compassion is a virtue, but do we direct it inward as much as outward? Parker Palmer gleans wisdom from Mary Oliver on mending ourselves so that we might be better companions to loved ones in need.
An autumnal poem from Linda Pastan guides Parker Palmer to a realization: that we can become enraptured with the world around us once again, if only we revive our childlike capacity for wonder.
Genuine communication is a collaborative process marked by respect. Parker Palmer reminds us of the importance of what we say, how we say it, and how we listen — in politics as in life.
A true friendship doesn’t only bring support and joy, but also challenges us to grow. Omid Safi reflects on the importance of nurturing relationships that acknowledge our imperfections, and nourish the best in us.
As the days grow shorter and the air grows crisp, Parker Palmer invokes Rainer Maria Rilke on lessons from the season: on having faith when we fall, and trusting in the mysterious resilience of life.
Reflecting on a tumultuous summer, Sarah Smarsh leans into the gifts that abound amid tragedy and loss, with hope for our unity and our resilience.
To soothe spiritual aches and exult in the bittersweetness of being in the world — a few lines of poetry from beloved voices, from Mary Oliver to Marie Howe.
Marie Howe marks the space left in her life by her late brother — tiny movements and moments now conspicuously absent. A tender elegy for a loved one gone too soon.
In this solemn reflection in summer light, Anita Barrows draws out the sweet tension of sorrow in the midst of beauty.
A life is composed of the ordinary and extraordinary, remarkable and mundane. An expression of gratitude from Carrie Newcomer for all of it, from big love to good coffee.
A reassuring, imagined moment of silence and clarity in the face of a frenetic world, with the guidance of Sylvia Boorstein and Pablo Neruda.
A powerful love is often quiet in its intensity. Alicia Partnoy reads her poem, a love note to love.
From the solemn to the playful, a selection of poetry to comfort and amuse.
A reflection from Christian Wiman on finding God and wonder in all the world’s imperfection.
Encouragement from the far shore of life to live fully into the miracle of our existence, with purpose and awe at every waking moment.
Paul Muldoon pauses in a suspended moment, away from the chaos of the world, alone with the soothing roar of rain.
A dawn meditation on the possibility of the day, and the quiet joy of belonging in a space of one’s own.
From Naomi Shihab Nye, a playful address to characters in a life, in all their intriguing mundanity.
Wendell Berry reads his poem, a celebration of human complexity, and the rich truth that emerges in moving against the grain.
A benediction from the late, beloved John O’Donohue, for the consoling embrace of steadiness and clarity in our most difficult moments.
An ode from Elizabeth Alexander to the spaces words fill between us, and to the path they light forward to a transcendent and unifying love.
Parker Palmer shares the poetry of a president: a testament to the healing power of words, and embracing the shadow and light within.
From the inspiration and discipline we learn from sport to opening up to the experience of strangers, a digest of interesting writings on the ways we evolve together: physically, spiritually, and creatively.
Is a life made, or grown? A contemplation from Parker Palmer and Marge Piercy on the quiet, joyful work of tending to ourselves as wild, flourishing thickets of life.
Essential celebrations of the strength and beauty that surround us, from new life and community to the poetry of words and images.
With the metaphor of the humble onion as her guide, Naomi Shihab Nye pens a poem in praise of all the small forgotten miracles of everyday life.
An invocation for gratitude — for the open spaces around us, for the quiet resilience of nature, and for the power of vulnerability to open us to new possibilities.
Parker Palmer offers up a remedy for feeling adrift: embracing surprise, and taking on sense of reverence to mystery.
Our days have been marked by pain and gaps in understanding. The enduring presence of kindness, mercy, poise, and the beauty of music provide guidance in harrowing times.
Learning from our mistakes doesn’t mean we have to obsess over our failures. Parker Palmer and Mary Oliver on the space nature provides for catharsis, so that we can move on to self-forgiveness.