How Can We Imagine Each Other Better?

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 3:17 pm

How Can We Imagine Each Other Better?

Know that while you’re reading this edition of the Letter from Loring Park, my family and I will be gliding along in a 30-foot beast of a motorhome (lovingly named the “Conquestador”) across the Rockies so we can explore Washington’s gorgeous Olympic Peninsula, especially the Hoh Rain Forest — inspired by this guided tour to One Square Inch of Silence:

“Isn’t that amazing, when you’re in a quiet place, your listening horizon extends for miles in every direction. When you hear an elk call from miles away it turns into a magic flute as the result traveling through this place that has the same acoustics as a cathedral.”

A supercell thunderstorm gathers. Photo by Niccolò Ubalducci.

(Niccolò Ubalducci / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)

Trent Gilliss | The Majestic Beauty of Supercell Thunderstorms in Slow Motion
I grew up on the Great Plains of North Dakota. And the skies graced my mind with vivid memories of huge thunderstorms striding across the sky as if they were moving in slow motion. Watching Chad Cowan’s timelapse film, Fractal, is a wonder to behold and reminds me of the intoxicating grandeur once again.

(Johnny Silvercloud / Flickr / Attribution-ShareAlike)

Miguel Clark Mallet | Carrying the Weight of How the White World Imagines You
The author intended to write an essay specifically for white people. But, in the process, he says he got tired — so he pivoted and wrote this insightful reflection on how the white imagination is killing all of us:

“We know where the monster lives; we know where it came from. It’s the beast of the white imagination. And we answer with our own visceral, vivid imaginations — released in poetry, music, painting, photography, film, theater — to keep that beast at bay.”

At this fraught time in our nation’s history, consider sharing this commentary with your neighbors and family, and start talking openly about the ideas he’s surfacing. We need this kind of frank, complex conversation to propel our country forward.

May the wind always be at your back,
Trent

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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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