There’s A Crack in Everything

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 7:00 pm

There’s A Crack in Everything

Some lines of verse for you from Leonard Cohen as you embark on the day:

“Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

Wanting to be responsive to the cultural climate of our country these days after the election, we changed our radio and podcast schedule this week. We decided Vincent Harding would be a great voice to hear, but some other conversations we considered: Jonathan Sacks on the dignity of difference, trauma researcher Bessel van der Kolk on cultivating resilience in the face of overwhelming events, social psychologist Mahzarin Banaji on the emerging science of implicit bias, and leading scientists on Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas on spiritual evolution in this adolescence of our species.


(Don Emmert / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

David Treuer | #Shelter: An Invitation
With so much pain and anger and fear, the novelist David Treuer offers a marvelous expression of kindness. Treuer, the son of an Ojibwe mother and a Jewish father who survived the Holocaust and found refuge in America, welcomes all who feel marginalized into his home for shelter:

“If you voted for Trump, don’t unfriend me on Facebook. I don’t want that. Message me instead. Come over instead. I will cook. I will clean. I’ll even help you do your laundry. We will talk. We’ll laugh. You can relax here. You are safe here. You won’t be judged. You can be you.”


(Scott Olson / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

Parker Palmer | Our November Surprise: I Predicted the Winner
If you didn’t know it, Parker grew up in the Chicago area and is a lifelong Cubs fan. (Talk about knowing heartbreak and the possibility of overcoming it!) In his usual brilliant fashion, he weaves a narrative of suffering and resilience to help move us forward:

“Beneath the shouting, there’s suffering. Beneath the anger, fear. Beneath the threats, broken hearts. Start there and we might get somewhere.”


Krista Answers a Listener’s Question About Her Conversation with a Trump Supporter
A listener living in Jerusalem wrote a beautiful letter in which she describes being engaged in a heated conversation with a man whose framework for thinking significantly contrasted with her own narrative. Does conversation really matter, she wonders, when our divisions are so deep:

“I want to believe, deeply, in your work, because it is the kind of work I want to do in the world. The conversations you engage in on your show are moving; they offer me new and rich language for living. But I imagine — am I wrong? — that your listeners are mostly my peers. We employ an exclusive vocabulary and have formed, if unintentionally, our own echo chamber around it. I suggest this not to be mean or accusatory, but to ask how you live with that concern, how you begin to answer that question when you ask it of yourself.”

In response, Krista went read Shani Rosenbaum’s letter on Facebook Live and offers some ideas that speak to the days ahead. And, the magazine Tricycle is resurfacing their interview with Krista on talking to the other side — helpful for these post-election days.

What Else We’re Watching and Reading

Diffusion Choir
“Creativity is light,” writes chef Ann Kim. “We need more light in dark times.” Watch this video of a kinetic sculpture that visualizes the organic movements of an invisible flock of Tyvek birds moving in harmony. Every 15 minutes the “birds” gather and create special choreographed gestures. Amazing!

A Moment Of Silence For The Black And Brown Talent That Grew On Vine
Vine, a platform for six-second looped videos, shut its doors recently. NPR’s team at Code Switch offers an insightful perspective on the loss of a space for talented, young people of color.


What It Means To Be an American.
Kerri Miller and MPR News have crafted a remarkable series of interviews with influential artists, musicians, and thinkers reflecting on American identity in these current times. Some of my favorites: anthropologist Jose Santos, poet Claudia Rankine, and author Gyasi Ross:

“The one thing that we can agree on is that at one time America was aspirational. And those aspirations, they might have been right or they might have been wrong. They might have been not fully inclusive, but they were aspirational. They were willing to consider evolution.”

From the On Being Tumblr

Music for the Morning: “Hallelujah” Performed by K.D. Lang
My 10-year-old son is taking piano lessons, but two years of Bastien Piano Basics can drum the passion out of anybody. In an effort to rekindle his imagination, we bought sheet music by Adele, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, and other pop artists. Among all that glorious popular music, he plucked out something unexpected. Leonard Cohen. “Hallelujah.”

My heart’s heavy at having lost the great Canadian songwriter and poet — especially knowing that Krista never got to sit down with the man from Montreal before his final breath. Let’s take a few minutes together to listen to K.D. Lang’s gorgeous rendition of “Hallelujah” performed before a global village at the Vancouver Olympics. A moving way to remember a great man.

We always look forward to engaging with you. Krista is finding Twitter (@kristatippett) an important place to be present right now to have those conversations. I am finding deep intimacy and friendship on Facebook and Twitter (@trentgilliss).Engage us in any of these spaces or via email at We’d love to talk to you.

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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