death

death

“There’s something wrong with Mother,” I said to my two brothers and my sister. “It’s Alzheimer’s or dementia. She is out of her mind.”

“She just doesn’t talk much any more.”

“She never did answer a question directly.”

“She’s OK. She’s not harming anyone or setting fire to the house.”

These were the answers my two brothers and my sister gave me when I would bring up the topic of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. No one wanted to think that a family member could be, well, out of her mind.

It's hard to decide which Mary Oliver poem is my favorite. There are so many! But this one's a strong candidate.

Every wisdom tradition I know urges us to cultivate active awareness of our mortality — because keeping that simple reality before our eyes enhances our appreciation of life, even when things get tough. It also increases the odds that we will come to some new resolve about how we want to live.

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!

What can the East Antarctic teach about the emptiness within us? That's a question I hadn't even pondered until the writer Jason C. Anthony sent us this lyrical essay and photos of his years spent on this landscape:

Every moment of life invites us to open our eyes to what Howard Thurman calls "the growing edge" of life, and aspire to grow with it. As he says, nothing embodies the growing edge better than a newborn — or, I'd say, a very young child.

Watch Stephen Colbert's moving tribute to his mother, offering insights into his mother's Roman Catholic faith and her deeply held values of gratitude, family, and fun.

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!

When one's pen goes silent for three years, what's the first line to come out. Christian Wiman tell us. Listen to his beautiful reading of "Every Riven Thing" too.

On this Mother's Day, in some odd way, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to listen to Ms. Boorstein reciting these lovely lines from Pablo Neruda.

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