Honoring Prince’s Memory with a Celebration of Playfulness and Kinship
The great gift of On Being is meeting all the incredible people who comprise the community. Nowhere was this more on display than in L.A.’s oldest synagogue, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where Krista spoke about her new book, Becoming Wise. What an amazing experience. Hashtag: #gratitude.
Our home is Minneapolis. Our heart is with Prince. He was too young to die, but then again, we never thought he’d grow old. He will be missed dearly. In celebration of his life, we offer you “Purple Reign” — a 26-hour, non-stop jam session of Prince’s entire music catalogue played from A to Z. And, two excellent articles on the music legend:
Prince’s Holy Lust. The journalist Touré offers some thoughtful insights on Prince’s skillful weaving of the “erotic intertwined with the divine” and “how much time Prince spent all but evangelizing for his vision of Christianity.” Pop Life. The gifted storyteller Kelley L. Carter recounts the time she met Prince at Paisley Park, and the humanness of that encounter: “Prince was like kinfolk. Kinfolk in a glittery gold lame pant suit, but kinfolk all the same.”
“Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord / But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Generations have worshiped him as the king of folk, but Bob Dylan’s discomfort with the limelight reveals more than mere humility. Mitch Bogen with an examination of the surprising, service-oriented theology in the lyrics of a lover of song.
“What is not acceptable is silence in face of oppression. Boycott if you want, or participate if you want. But do not remain silent in face of injustice.”
Bruce Springsteen and other notable musicians took a stand in response to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” Omid Safi on the need for all to stand up and not remain silent, no matter what action you might take.
The pope had an extraordinary eight days last week: issuing a seminal document on love and family, traveling to a refugee “hot zone,” and meeting Bernie Sanders in Rome. Paul Elie with a brilliant piece for our Public Theology Reimagined initiative – writing on the pope’s willingness to accompany people where they’re at and walk alongside, whether it be a Syrian refugee or a U.S. presidential candidate:
“Pope Francis has shown us again and again what it means for Catholics and the Church to accompany others. You meet people where they are. You presume the good in them and hope that they will presume the good in you.”
“A lot of experiments fail, and, as every scientist knows, we learn more from those that fail than those that succeed. If you live your life experimentally, the failures will be personal, and some will be spectacular.”
Being part of the human race means embracing the fullness of people’s behaviors. Parker Palmer on the demanding path toward wholeness with Rumi, Merton, and other mystics as his escorts.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
From John Muir and Wendell Berry to Henry David Thoreau, guest author Meridian Johnson offers this celebration of the earth through a granddaughter’s memory and the writers who love it — paired with gorgeous aerial photography by Sylvan Adams.
“Sartre said, ‘Hell is other people.’ He must never have been to a seder. Sometimes, other people are paradise.”
The importance of religion to Americans is trending downward. Meanwhile, more people say they experience a deep sense of wonder and awe about the universe. Marty Kaplan, director of USC’s Norman Lear Center and a self-described secular Jew, on the importance of the Passover, the ritual of Seder, and the paradise of kinship.
“What does ‘healthy masculinity’ even mean? Do we need new words to crystallize the emotional range that guys crave? Women have ’empowerment,’ as overused and commodified as it’s become. What do men have?”
More and more fathers-to-be are expressing hopes to have daughters, Courtney Martin observes. But, despite the well-intentioned feminism behind this desire, how might we focus on a new masculinity that might be even more radical?
“You just gotta learn math.”
This week’s episode of Becoming Wise features the astrophysicist Brian Greene on the hidden hand of the equations. Subscribe to our new podcast on iTunes.
Until next week, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter at @trentgilliss.
May the wind always be at your back.