pain

pain

By Parker J. Palmer September 03, 2014

How does one have a more supple heart that's read to hold life's suffering and joy? Finding a way in through a Mary Oliver poem and some guiding words.

March 22, 2013

Bedridden with an incurable illness, writer Paul Martin on navigating paths of pain and difficulty, and the depth and mystery of joy.

April 19, 2012

Shoah: a Table of Elements

“The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary nor congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent.”
—Primo Levi, The Periodic Table

The Holocaust represented a contradiction in perception: ordered, regimented evil and unrestrained, billowing pain. For decades, artists have sought to capture the ineffable destruction that befell the Jewish people.

September 03, 2011

SevenPhoto by Alicia Reiner/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I am from fire.

I’m from the fire my father had for life and the fire my mother had for living. His was fueled by parties, drugs, wit, and self-involvement, hers by longing, anger, spite, and sweat. He was vivid; he hit her skin like sunshine and she finally felt warmth from an external source. She smoldered. He was curious to know how her sweat turned to the steam that hovered over her skin. What was her heat source? How could someone burn so hot without catching fire?

April 17, 2011

Even novice meditators are able to curb their pain after a few training sessions in mindfulness meditation.

October 08, 2010

Another kind of contribution to civility, an act of care for "despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future" from syndicated columnist Dan Savage.