Living + Loving Well; Parenting Masculine; Not Knowing + Loving When Knowing; HHDL Turns 80; Quick Reads for the Week
Two new colleagues joined the On Being team this week! Annie Parsons (@hootenannie1) and Maia Tarrell (@tarrelling) moved to Minneapolis from Denver and Melbourne, Australia, respectively. The first’s week’s been an absolute joy and we’re excited for the years to come.
“Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. The sooner we understand this, the better. It’s a truth that can set us free to live well, to love well and, in the end, to die well.”
Parker Palmer’s column, “Fierce with Reality: Living and Loving Well to the End,” tapped into something deeply rooted in so many people. He offers three things to help us embrace the whole and show up as we really are. (I think my favorite comment came from Sandi Siegel, who used the word “gooey” in her response.)
Vying for most shared and passed around honors was Rachel Meyer’s guest submission on what masculinity looks like. A longtime yogi, she sees fatherhood through the lens of the complementary balance of effort and ease, strength and softness:
“Like every naïve couple with a baby registry, we thought we were prepared. But parenting is the hardest yoga we’ve ever done. We practice in stolen moments, squeezing in half-assed headstands during breakfast and unrolling the mat late at night, the baby monitor standing sentinel at the top.”
Like Rachel, we welcome your essays and commentaries, photo essays and reports. Submit them here and we just might publish alongside our columnists!
“What if we knew something wonderful was going to happen, but not when? What if you knew that you would be blessed, but not through whom? Or how? What if a heart would be opened for you, but you knew not whom?”
The blessing of not knowing. That’s the title we gave to Omid Safi’s latest column. As he celebrates the final nights of Ramadan, he invites us into the mystery of “not-knowing” and reflects on the wonder of unseen realities and Laylat al-qadr, the “Night of Power.”
Now pair that with his previous column, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Cleaning Up My Daughter’s Poop” (which he suggested titling “Love Is Stronger Than Shit”), and I think you get to experience the fullness of Omid Safi:
“It’s about love. There is a love that is stronger than ‘like.’ You love through the shit. It does not mean that we ‘like’ every person, or like what they do, or like all of their qualities. It simply means that we love, with a strong, unrelenting, and fierce love that refuses to stop at the shitty parts of their personality — or our own.”
To celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg recounts her first encounter with the great spiritual leader and the importance of his example — in words and in deed. And how about this portrait (above) of His Holiness by Chris Levine? He’s donating all proceeds from sales of the portrait to charities involved in the Nepalese relief effort.
And, if you only have a few minutes, here are a few quick reads and sees for you:
- Running of the Bulls 2015: The Fiesta de San Fermin. Amazing photos from Spain in The Atlantic. Folks are crazy but oh what a festival.
- ONWARD. Sometimes we meet kindred spirits in our work to foster more productive and intimate conversations. And Sahar Driver is doing just this by trying to tell “deeper stories of immigration.”
- Serena is a Jehovah’s Witness? I had no idea. Kimberly Winston with an interesting article for RNS.
- “The Ethics of Yoga Festivals: Debt, Lies & Broken Promises in Santa Fe.” Rosanne Harvey writes a hefty blog titled “It’s All Yoga, Baby” that probes the yoga community from the inside. And, as yoga festivals abound, she shines a critical light on one event in New Mexico that may not be all that it seems.
May the wind always be at your back.