Hoping to Rekindle My Memory

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 Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

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August 6th, 2014

Some good humor on forgetfulness and poignant verse from the poet Billy Collins to sweeten the swallow.

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July 30th, 2014

Parker Palmer pays homage to Krista Tippett with some words of wisdom on “the savage and beautiful country that lies in between.”

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July 23rd, 2014

At our darkest hours, when light fails to find a home, a path of buttercups may lead us back. Parker Palmer offers up thoughts and a Willow Harth poem for many of us caught “underground.”

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July 16th, 2014

Parker Palmer reflects on “sharing our loves and doubts” as way into more generous conversations — all through the lens of a poem by Yehuda Amichai.

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July 9th, 2014

Parker Palmer celebrates the act of finding clarity in one’s life through the poetry of Mary Oliver and listening to the trees.

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July 2nd, 2014

As many of us Americans approach the July 4th weekend, Parker Palmer proposes an Interdependence Day to remind us that “we’re all in this together.”

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June 25th, 2014

Parker Palmer draws on the words of two poets to remind us that we must embrace receptivity and gratitude to live a full life.

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June 18th, 2014

A video with Parker Palmer discussing Lincoln’s depression and how he sees the 16th U.S. President’s ability to reconcile the darkness and lightness within himself as a lesson for us all in healing the heart of democracy.

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June 11th, 2014

Some thoughts on Leonard Cohen, our small and imperfect contributions to solving big problems, the “potluck supper approach to social change,” and how the light gets in.

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June 4th, 2014

To be human is to live with paradox and hold it in our hands. Parker Palmer offers some grounding advice on creating more spaces to do so gracefully — and a poem by May Sarton.

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May 28th, 2014

Life has its moments of melancholy. Parker Palmer reminds us to stop, take it all in, and write some poetry to recall life’s aspirations.

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May 21st, 2014

As you read this poem, Parker Palmer asks us to ponder a simple question: “How, then, shall I live?”

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May 14th, 2014

Parker Palmer draws inspiration from the words of Wendell Berry on celebrating one’s obstacles and the impeded stream that sings.

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May 6th, 2014

Parker Palmer turns to a famous Mary Oliver poem to remind him to be grateful for the “family of things.”

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April 30th, 2014

A vexing question receives a profound answer. And Parker Palmer asks: “What task is calling you — at home, at work, in the larger world — that you need to embrace even though it’s impossible?”

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April 23rd, 2014

When we live behind a mask, how do we connect and establish trust with one another? Parker Palmer on reclaiming our identity and integrity.

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April 16th, 2014

Parker Palmer offers a light-hearted vignette on the unexpected visitor and welcoming her in — all by way of a metaphor by Rumi.

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April 9th, 2014

Parker Palmer encourages us to look with child-like imagination to better understand the world’s mysteries.

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April 2nd, 2014

Drawing on Joseph Campbell, Parker Palmer asks: where might you turn for news that is “true and worth attending to”?

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March 26th, 2014

In our busy lives, a reminder from Parker Palmer that what matters most is not our ability to produce but our ability to love, and to just be. With a poem by Lynn Ungar.

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March 18th, 2014

The Quaker elder offers this poetic reminder on trusting that the writing process itself will help you dig into your bafflement.