The On Being Project

Parker J. Palmer
Parker J. Palmer

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Wednesday.

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. His book On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old will be published in June.

To Live and To Love in Birdsong

by Parker J. Palmer

There is joy in seeking out the boundless newness of the world. To embrace this is to welcome the uncertain, the mysterious, the unknowable — whether you are in the spring of youth or the sunset of seniority.

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To Live and To Love in Birdsong

You Have No Power Over Me

by Parker J. Palmer

For Black History Month, Parker Palmer commemorates Rosa Parks’s courageous act of civil disobedience and the great change that can come from resisting one’s own diminishment.

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You Have No Power Over Me

The Light in the Darkness Around Us

by Parker J. Palmer

Can we stop trying to fool each other and start telling the truth, “lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark?”

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The Light in the Darkness Around Us

How To Be A Poet

by Parker J. Palmer

Gentle guidance for how to write — or simply to stay centered in our lives — from the poet Wendell Berry.

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How To Be A Poet

Great Power Lives in Our Love

by Parker J. Palmer

Parker Palmer asks us to consider: Are we using whatever power we have in the service of love? In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy.

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Great Power Lives in Our Love

Winter Calls Us Back to the Questions

by Parker J. Palmer

A poem from Mary Oliver transforms the depths of winter into wonder at its otherworldly beauty.

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Winter Calls Us Back to the Questions

Let This Season Be a Reminder to Keep Your Heart Open

by Parker J. Palmer

A blessing and a challenge for the holidays: to keep a spirit of gratitude and giving no matter the season.

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Let This Season Be a Reminder to Keep Your Heart Open

The Gift of “Welcome Home”

by Parker J. Palmer

From the solitude of nature, a poem on reclaiming a sense of welcome in our own lives.

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The Gift of “Welcome Home”

Learning from My Mistakes

by Parker J. Palmer

A hopeful poem by Portia Nelson on the slow but cathartic process of breaking out of our harmful habits.

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Learning from My Mistakes

The Clarity and Truth in Winter’s Scarcity

by Parker J. Palmer

On stripping away the clutter of life to live more deeply, inspired by a Mary Oliver poem on the clarity that comes from winter’s sparseness.

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The Clarity and Truth in Winter’s Scarcity
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