Finding Mystery in the Mundane

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Finding Mystery in the Mundane

After a couple of weeks of a much-needed break, our team is now reunited under one roof. It’s great to be back! We’re in the thick of it, producing next week’s episode with Ruby Sales. And our columnists have returned, too, with some much-needed counsel on living with others and realizing fresh ways forward…

(Jing / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Parker Palmer: Speaking Without Thinking, A Profile in Courage?

What’s the line between constrained political correctness and speaking plainly and openly? Wary of both, Parker proffers his thinking on owning our shadow sides with grace — and asking the same of our leaders:

“I continue to harbor the hope that this political season of our discontent will help us think more clearly and deeply about who we are as a people. If it does, I’ll say a grudging and ironic thanks to those who ‘don’t think before they speak’ but still tell us ‘what’s on their minds,’ no matter how debased. Odious as they are, people of that sort — and their enablers — force us to look more closely at ourselves and our nation.”

(Satya / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Omid Safi: All the Time in the World

Hectic, busy lives are wearing us out. But Omid (in his wonderfully poetic way) finds instances when the profane meets the temporal:

“Every now and then, we connect with moments, place, and people who remind us of these eternities. For one instant lightning lights up the whole dark night. We stand in pure awe, not in time, but somehow in a place where there is pure eternity.

We see our own selves as what we are: a fish swimming in the ocean, searching for water. In those instants, we move beyond time as linear, as something between a past and a future. Instead, we merge into the very eternity where/when we have always been.”

(Amanda Tipton / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Courtney Martin: A Different American Dream

“One thing I got crystal clear on is this, ‘the new better off’ — as I’ve come to call it — is about rejecting, or at the very least, examining some of our country’s most dearly-held defaults.”

After maternity leave, Courtney rejoins our weekly list of columnists. And, as if giving birth to a beautiful baby girl wasn’t enough, she’s also releasing her new book, The New Better Off (yes, the same name as her column). Watch her TED Talk about reimagining and reinventing the American dream — and how a new generation is seeking success.

(Colleen Eversman / The Great Discontent / © All Rights Reserved)

Tina Essmaker: The Great Discontent Interview

The photo above is featured in The Great Discontent, a blog and magazine I’ve deeply admired for the past four or five years now. And I’m so glad to see this lovely interview with Krista is augmented with photos that really give you a deep sense of our studio space on Loring Park. And, wouldn’t you know it, after 13 years working together, I’m still learning about her:

“I love to talk to Millennials and people in their 20s. One thing I say to them is that if I could go back and do one thing differently, it would be knowing how to take pleasure. I would try not to be so restless or so hard on myself and I’d take pleasure in what I did and let that be good enough.

The one thing I would credit my younger self with is frequently throwing myself into improbable situations. I’m not sure where that comes from, but it was so much about persevering. Honestly, it’s about being practical as well as visionary.”

President Obama Meets “Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle

“Nature is resilient and places that have been protected in the last 10 years show remarkable capacity to improve. The things that you can do, that all of us together can do to protect nature, is to respect the trees, respect the fish, respect all forms of life and realize we’re a part of the action.”

A few years go, Krista interviewed the bold oceanographer Sylvia Earle, who has seen and experienced the depths of the seas in ways most of us mere mortals will never comprehend, walking at depths more than a quarter of a mile beneath the surface of the ocean. And she’s been advocating for the protection of our aquatic habitats for decades. One of those places is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. So it was with a great deal of joy that I happened upon this video of President Obama meeting Dr. Earle after he recently expanded Papahānaumokuākea to be the world’s largest protected marine reserve:

“This place is a symbol of hope for us to make peace for nature, a turning point in time when we extend our sense of caring beyond the shore and into the sea.”

As always, thank you for the kind and generous feedback. Please feel free to contact me or anyone on our team.
May the wind always be at your back.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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