The Magic Hedge is an oasis on the outskirts of Chicago renowned for its excellent birdwatching. With the hopes of sighting of a rare bird, two friends venture forth to encounter small miracles, the warmth of unexpected community, and the blessings of stillness.
While eavesdropping, our columnist witnesses the intimacy of two strangers generously listening to one another — without an intent to save, fix, or advise. A lesson in witnessing over chicken wings.
Holidays like Passover create occasions for encounter, however strange they may be. And those encounters may lead to friendships that create new possibilities.
Some of the best things of the week: on quiet nobility, thin places, the fist of fate, severed friendships, and Malcolm X.
Closure may not be all it's cracked up to be. Courtney Martin on the death of a friendship and the insatiable, sometimes unsatisfying, need to create silver linings where none exist.
Our executive editor looks into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope, including an elegy for light, the lessons of hardship, and a piece in praise of chosen 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.
Our executive editor's weekly missive: a season of autumn invitations, a thoughtful essay on male friendship, confessions of an accidental feminist, a joyful contemplation on being Mormon in the modern world, and an unexpected moment of generosity.
Men's ability to maintain sustained, intimate friendships with other men may be the key to unlocking a revolution of a new type of connection — and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
Inspired by the simplicity and power of Naomi Shihab Nye's story, here's a list of five simple things we can do to help with healing the heart of democracy.
When a millennial woman hears about Buddhist teachings on overcoming anger through love, she decides to try out a meditation practice experiment on her own social media feeds.
"Even if you like living alone, that doesn't always mean you want to be alone." ~Lisa Napoli
Each Friday night, the author and journalist opens her door and throws a "party" in her LA abode. Anybody can come and socialize. It's such a lovely idea and seems like a great way to build relationships and foster community in one's own way. Great idea!
A poem inspired by our Civil Conversations Project dialogue on the future of marriage — written in Newark airport by Pádraig Ó Tuama.
“The Platform of Surrender” (photo: Anna Gay/Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
While going through the process of divorcing my husband, living as a single mother with my daughter, working full time in a classroom for severely physically and cognitively disabled children, and going to college full time in the evenings, I began to ponder what true love is. It was during this time that I had the following experience with a wonderful lady, Ms. Fran.
In 2001 my husband approached me about hosting an Afghan refugee family of four. I was hesitant. But my reservations — lice, tuberculosis, loss of solitude — seem petty and insulting now. In the end, they were outweighed by his enthusiasm.
So our family arrived one evening just before Memorial Day, exhausted from long travel. We stood outside nodding, smiling, shaking hands. Akbar wore a dark suit, Rahima a blouse and skirt and heels, the children ribbons and a bow tie and shined shoes. We had pizza and soda and very few words.