Each week I write a weekly column trying to capture and replay a tiny bit of the incredible conversations and efforts taking place behind the scenes at On Being. Sometimes it's a listener's response on our Facebook page or a gorgeous photo on Instagram, but it's often intriguing. If you'd like to receive my column in your email inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
"You can't make anything authentic by asking people what they want because they don't know what they want. That's what they're looking at you for."
In last week's newsletter, I asked our readers for advice on what they'd like to see us improve here at On Being. One reader, Howard Maple, shared this pithy quotation from the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne. I appreciate Mr. Maple's honesty and reminder to trust one's creative instincts while paying attention. The onus is on us.
"Artistry" is not confined to folks who create verbal, visual, or musical forms of beauty. I know people who are artists at parenting, friendship, gardening, manual labor, teaching, leadership, problem-solving, care-giving, peace-making, or just plain living!
So Wendell Berry's words about the creative process apply to all of us, no matter what "medium" we work in. Berry, 80, is not only a brilliant writer of novels, short stories, essays, and poems. He is also a life-long farmer who farms with the same artistry he brings to his writing.
The artist Dario Robleto finds beautiful objects and examines the deep reservoirs of truth hidden in plain sight in our memories, our beloved objects, and the voice. We live-tweeted this contemplative conversation with Krista Tippett at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and catalogue it here for your perusal.
Grace — a word of such command, and, yet, one seldom spoken today. Has the word fallen out of favor? Or has grace itself? And, if we aren’t talking about grace, does that mean we are not living it? Do we prefer to keep our distance from matters (or reminders) of a fall from grace?
In January, our host (yes, Krista Tippett) was invited to interview the artist and maker Ann Hamilton. The auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was sold-out. With that type of energy, why not live-tweet the conversation? Here are series of small snapshots of their wandering, intimate conversation. I hope you'll get a sense of Ann Hamilton's poetic imagination and how she experiences language, time, and life as a maker.
“In my calligraphy, there is ink, tea, breathing, mindfulness, and concentration. Writing calligraphy is a practice of meditation. I write the words or sentences that can remind people about the practice. For instance, breathe and enjoy the kingdom of God in the here and the now or breathe and enjoy this wonderful moment. I think the word ‘wonderful’ means full of wonders. If you are truly there in the moment, you can recognize so many wonders in that moment. The Kingdom of God, the Buddha land is there.
A recap of our favorite bits of curiosity from this week, including epistolary correspondence, Krista re-entering the Twitter fray, and a revival post. And a whole lot more!