There is no norm when it comes to the prototypical family unit. And, family as we all know is at once our breaking point and our healing refuge. With the holiday season behind us, Courtney Martin asks us to embrace the family we have and resist the idealized version that never existed.
A young mother of twins returns to the comfort of the kitchen and cooking rice as she remembers learning from her own mother as a child, and revels in the unique tension between her desire for order and the joyful chaos that her children bring.
The ritual of lighting luminaria on Christmas Eve in New Mexico inspires this reflection on grief and waiting for the light.
With the gift of a poem, a father marvels at the infinities embodied by his young son in this lyrical moment of parental reverence.
Thanksgiving is the one holiday when our columnist's family spent the day together. In her imperfect efforts to revive the tradition of her childhood Thanksgivings, Jane Gross discovers that even small gestures — like keeping a set of gaudy dishes — can be all the tradition she needs.
A composer's song for the background noise of a family living room — a soundtrack for the ordinary work of cooking, cleaning, and growing up.
There are those people who know how to get ahead of the train wreck and those folks who are called to their senses after the collision has happened. But, catastrophe, too, can be a contemplative path if you choose to accept it.
An affirmation of presence, a victory of joy, a connection maintained: these are the things a young mother observes in her elderly next door neighbors, as a husband gently tends to his wife in her final days. A beautiful account of what love truly looks like.
Can the process of grieving go on too long? Especially when you write about it for a living? Jane Gross on her bout with understanding death's unsettled trajectory.
In the absence of a religious tradition, is there a fundamental need for prayer? Courtney Martin on finding comfort in praying to her late, burly grandfather rather than a god to whom she couldn't relate.
Communication with our children can sometimes hit a wall. A father shares some helpful guidelines for architecting richer, more connected relationships with children. What could be more important?
There is no handbook for grief. With grace, kindness, and gentleness, a daughter candidly shares her experience of mourning after the unexpected loss of her father.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son's loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
In the aftermath of her brother's untimely death, a sister contemplates life's darkness — as well as the ever-accessible, unfaltering light which illuminates the path. A call to help recover lost light for those who are in darkness, and for ourselves.
Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.
We spill something on ourselves, and then we postpone the inevitable: the cleaning. We often do the same thing with the pain and anger we inevitably experience. Omid and Rumi have something to say about stain-treating our hearts.
Our readers and our columnists explore Vincent Harding's question in light of the Charleston tragedy — and how we can reclaim our fears and our hopes in this great experiment. Plus, some things I've been reading this week (for your eyes only).
With nine out of ten family dinners, little of consequence occurs. But, during the tenth mealtime, something sparks. A father's case for the unscheduled magic of the family dinner.
A bevy of useful, interesting things to chew on and contemplate. Sure to make your mind sing!
Morsels to savor — all in one digest — on wonder and beauty, brokenness and healing, musicals and parenting. Get caught up in a few minutes!
Children ask questions that challenge the best of parents. They also expose the weaknesses of our responses. A set of reflections from a black South African mother and activist who is confronted by the truth of her daughter's words and embracing the "weirdness" of their "dark brown and peach" family.
We don't choose our family, as the old saying goes, but we do choose our friends. An encouragement to discover people to surround ourselves with and scout friends who beget our culture.
A brother contemplates the loss of his sister to cancer, the place where she searched for home, and the stories that rise up within him.
Our executive editor's weekly post on all things curious and aspiring — on topics from leading a less busy life to seeking rootedness and a cancer patient's call to her senses.