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The On Being Project

Yo-Yo Ma Preview; Music at Loring Park; Gratitude for Teachers; Reclaiming Time; Words from Muir, Borges, & Merton; And a French Song

September will soon be here. And with it a dizzying number of events and new episodes, including an interview with Yo-Yo Ma! We are in the final stages of producing our episode with the classical music superstar. After more than a decade working on this radio project, I continue to marvel at Krista’s prowess in creating conversational spaces with the most famous of people and in the magic of the production process. Here’s a two-minute preview to whet the appetite!

On Tuesday, September 9th, I’d like to invite you to On Being on Loring Park for a special conversation with Carrie Newcomer. Krista will interview the singer-songwriter who builds community through her songs and her work in social justice. Carrie will then perform a short musical set afterwards. The tickets are free; all you have to do is RSVP.

These live events in our communal space are also about creating community and connecting you with other kindred thinkers. Before (and/or after) the show, we encourage you to walk down our charming alley to The Third Bird, a fabulous new restaurant by Kim Bartmann for old Minneapolis. Eat, have a cocktail, and meet other attendees! Show Kim’s staff your Eventbrite ticket and you’ll receive happy-hour-priced drinks the entire evening of September 9th.

(Joe Valtierra / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).)

As school begins for many students across the U.S., Parker Palmer reminds us to praise our teachers and offer “soft eyes” of compassion to our children — along with a poem from Billy Collins on being 10. Just lovely.

(Martina K / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0))

After months of back-and-forth exchanges with her insurance company, our other weekly columnist Courtney Martin sends up a white flag. But, by surrendering to awe, she writes, she wins:

“You’ll have my money, but I’ll have the most valuable and rare of currencies to me these days: my time.”

Sometimes the words of the great ones catch you at the right time. As I was reading John Muir, I looked up to see my little boy watching a pair of juvenile loons learning how to fish with their mother:

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

Lyrical words, non? Which reminds me of all the great interviews from The Paris Review‘s archives, including this smart exchange with literary giant Jorge Luis Borges in 1966:

“Intelligence has little to do with poetry. Poetry springs from something deeper; it’s beyond intelligence. It may not even be linked with wisdom. It’s a thing of its own; it has a nature of its own.”

If I may, I’d like to send you off into the rest of your day with this gorgeous song by Sophie Hunger (“Avec le temps“) and this restorative passage from Thomas Merton:

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

I’m so thankful to Courtney for pointing me to this in her commentary, “The Spiritual Art of Saying No.” I wish you the utmost happiness as you move into this autumn season.
Comments? Suggestions? An article you’d like to write for publication at onbeing.org? Reach me at [email protected] and on Twitter at @trentgilliss.
May the wind always be at your back.

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