Papal Illumination, Utterance Before Prayer, and the Thrilling Juncture of Life

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 4:32 am

Papal Illumination, Utterance Before Prayer, and the Thrilling Juncture of Life

How we carry what has gone wrong for us is essential to being at home in ourselves, and present to the world with all of its failings.

Krista’s tweet (@kristatippett) spoke to so many people following her. And so did this bit of wit from the incomparable Oscar Wilde:

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

130226-M-IX060-006And Peter Edmonds (@peterdedmonds) pointed Krista to this SciLogs blog post on the difficulties of communicating controversial science:

Can’t fathom dark matter or “modified gravity” but such ideas have a gravitational pull on me…

It’s a bit beyond my ken too. Help!
From the road, Krista writes:

At a hermitage, trying to write. Being in a Catholic place lends itself to such apt allusions: Limbo. Dark Night of the Soul. Purgatory.

Between bouts of not writing, preparing to interview poet Marie Howe here in the sacred wild tomorrow. Oh my what beauty.

Poet Marie HoweWorking with the College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute, we’ve coordinated a face-to-face interview with former poet laureate of New York:

“I love stories. Stories have saved my life, and I also question stories even as I tell them… We all have stories to tell. It’s the complexity of the human heart that I think is poetry’s subject — the complexity of the human experience. I think the best poets writing today represent that complexity in the broadest, deepest sense.”

The conversation will take place in the college’s “old library,” a gorgeous brick building with boxed beams, wood floors, and And, yes, I take my family on location too. Not much help scouting but adorable hams hearths tiled with the Latin words such as fides and scientia wrapping each side. And, yes, sometimes we even take our children to scout locations.
Which brings me to these lines of poesy from Ms. Howe:

This is how things happen, cup by cup, familiar gesture

after gesture, what else can we know of safety

or of fruitfulness?

From a Benedictine monastery in the Midwest to outside the Vatican in Rome, Screentime at the Vaticanwhat an overwhelming response to this image on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis:

The pope is fully illuminated. The ubiquity of screens in eight short years. I’m not sure whether to be amazed or mortified.

What does this say about us? Folks on Facebook gave all sorts of good counsel. We could use a little more.
People expressed their gratitude for the lead quotation Sketchnotes of Kevin Kling Showin the sketchnotes of our show with humorist Kevin Kling:

“Sometimes we need to rewrite our stories so that we can sleep at night.”

On our Facebook page, Jean Archambeau of Eden Prairie, Minnesota added this:

One of my other favorite Kevin nuggets from this interview (besides the one you listed at the top of this post): “When you dwell in the past, it’s regrets, when you dwell on the future, it’s anxiety. So many great pearls of wisdom shared. I think I will have to go see Kevin live very soon!

How about these magnificent, lyrical words from Dominique Ashaheed, Dominique Ashaheed from Denver, Coloradoa spoken word poet from Denver, Colorado, who recently competed in the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals this past week:

“A poet is the ‘Amen’ before the utterance of prayer.”

Check out the City Pages images of other participants, a remarkable set of photos that speaks to our core here at On Being.
Bike RiderA bit of insight from Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children paired with Marc van Woudenberg’s photo:

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.”

And, this video continues to be a source of inspiration and discussion from many of people: Empathy at the Cleveland Clinic

If you could stand in someone else’s shoes… Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?

The horizon ahead is vast and full of potential. "The ocean was one of the greatest things he had ever seen in his life - bigger and deeper than anything he had imagined. It changed its color and shape and expression according to time and place and weather. It aroused a deep sadness in his heart, and atAs our project here at On Being grows and evolves, Krista contemplates the road ahead. Who is she looking to?

At a big scary thrilling juncture of life. And Pema Chodron as contemplative reading is helping – especially “When Things Fall Apart.”

Krista follows up with these words of wisdom from An Elven LadyRoshi Chodron:

“The present moment is a pretty vulnerable place… and this can be completely unnerving and completely tender at the same time.”

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”

“Fear can come out looking like anger, and when it does it yields chaos rather than clarity.”

Share Post


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.

Share Your Reflection