Through the intimacy of chosen mother-daughterhood, a woman navigates the fraught territory of craving Chinese identity as a white American — and recognizes that some identities cannot be earned or learned, but are gifts passed on.
His music ushered Omid’s children into the world. Learning of Orüç Güvenç’s death, Omid offers an ocean of remembrance in return — for the Turkish Sufi master and ethnomusicologist who embodied the poetry of Islam in both his music and his being.
Can being lost be productive? Our columnist on lingering in the mystery of our purpose — and surrendering to the paths that choose us.
Our Letter from Loring Park opens our application process for the inaugural On Being Gathering. And, articles on the complexities of family and love, giving up on the myth of perfection, grappling with inherited prejudice and being recognized for who we are, and words from Dorothy Day on a revolution that starts within.
A woman’s story of her family — fractured and bruised but not without deep, complex love. A reflection on mental illness and divorce, the infinite shapes a home can take, and the courage to carve out space in a world built around conventions.
A loving ode to an exemplar of old-school hard work and generosity, and a model for public life in our time.
Our stories hold power no matter the circumstances of our lives. A Hmong-American woman looks on her father’s modest life, and her own — through refugee camps in Thailand to their new life in the American Midwest — and reveals lessons from the powerless on our inherent dignity, even through our most vulnerable times.
The questions of who matters and what’s really important run through each entry in this week’s edition of Letter from Loring Park.
Listeners challenge all of us to grow after listening to our interview with Glenn Beck. A writer contemplates her preoccupation with death after he mother’s passing. How men can live longer if they nurture deep friendships. And how humor helps us survive — a preview of the new season of our Creating Our Own Lives podcast.
A young man becomes a listening nomad; a missing violin brings a musician closer to herself; a community of Detroiters meditates with Sylvia Boorstein; Courtney Martin mourns the freedoms of childlessness. Reflections on the unexpected places where we find deep truth in ourselves and each other.
Parenting is a joy and a gift — but we should also give parents space to acknowledge the lost freedoms of youth that they miss. Courtney looks wistfully back to what life was like before her daughters, alongside the huge love and gratitude she feels for motherhood.
Witnessing the faint smile of her dying mother, the daughter of Haitian-Creole parents reflects on why she’s been writing about death and grief ever since — and the cathartic edge of the Book of Revelation and C.S. Lewis.
The companionship of Thomas Merton; an inspiring faith in our nation’s potential; and the spiritual work of environmental care.
A lesson on gilding our flaws; the fresh air of the Easter and Passover season; a visual tour of a haunting ritual; and Brené Brown’s encouragement for those who are done with fear.
There may not be one magic key to successful relationships. But it helps for us to share this goal: to have our partners’ back, no matter what chaos life throws our way.
Creating a false division between life and work has its own pitfalls.
When a listener asks a question, a new conversation emerges. And other ideas on the harm of literalism in family life, the virtue of truth-telling, transforming anger, praise for an unappreciated generation; and others.
Wisdom on mortality from Ira Byock; a young woman’s reflection on magic and memory; Sharon Salzberg on recalibrating brain bias; and Krista’s five approaches to a wise life.
A young woman on growing up half-Chinese and half-Irish in Southern California’s largest Asian enclave, and the journey to understanding her “hapa” identity not as incoherent parts, but as a perfect whole.
What if we learned to trust in the resilience of our relationships, and recognized the occasional necessity of butting heads with the ones we love?
The elemental closeness of a mother to her children, and to her own body.
Courtney Seiberling on rediscovering the magic of things, even after deep loss seems to drain our world of wonder.
Interrogating our anger, honoring our elders, facing the truth of life’s fragility, and helpful new discussion guides for Becoming Wise — the best of what’s engaging our minds and spirits these days.
Courtney Martin on the questions we learned to be afraid to ask, and how our quest for the answers shapes our lives moving forward.
Monotasking as a social skill? Discovering new truths in our winter years? Essential readings on new approaches to life with each other, and with our ever-evolving selves.
It can feel painful to reflect on our mortality — especially the mortality of our loved ones. But maybe embracing the reality of death can help us to fear it less, and appreciate the wonder of life all the more.
Parker looks fondly on the moments he spent as a child with his grandfather — whose life-giving hands brought forth craft and nurtured a little boy into the world with a fierce and stoic tenderness.
Courtney offers up a fear- and judgment-free space, and draws forth the perspectives of women who don’t have kids, by choice or otherwise.
What if we considered our nation not as factions at war, but as members of a strained and troubled family? A look through the lens of the three stories that broken families tell — and what that marginalized, third story reveals about the echo chambers we’ve been called to step out of.
Whether to have children is one of the most life-defining decisions we will make. And there is joy and meaning to be found on either path — as well as endless challenges and frustration. Courtney Martin on why the best place to turn for guidance is inward.
The stories we tell about love and life are the root of dreams and frustration, alike. Sharon Salzberg on how “unstitching and reweaving” the narratives we hold can lead to a more generous understanding of our relationships, and ourselves.
A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.
A writer turns away from what’s toxic on social media and chooses self-care in this cultural moment.
Courtney shares the practical insight of a wise elder — on the tumultuous history we’ve lived through, and the work we must do to shape our future differently.
In the light of a New Year’s sparkler, a metaphor for the illuminating capacity we hold within, despite our fleeting existence.
A lesson on trusting on trusting our gut about the lives we’re called to lead, and the unexpected ways that might manifest.
Paul Elie navigates the winding path of Advent, and finds quiet ways to start anew in the meeting of ritual and the rhythms of everyday life.
The twilight season of Advent reveals a quiet source of hope — in the rhythms of the earth and the instinctual embrace of darkness by our animal bodies.
A brush with that fleeting, transcendent gratitude that only comes when we stand on the edge of losing what we treasure most.
When going about our business, could we pay more attention to what we’re leaving behind for others in our wake?
Sometimes the refuge we need is not an escape, but a safe place to grapple with our hardest questions, and to challenge ourselves to be better.
Wise minds grapple with the tensions of faith and community, honor the resilience of a movement, and remember the love of family we often take for granted.
A Thanksgiving reflection on scarcity and abundance, and the sacred work of inviting our neighbors and strangers alike to the table.
With so much pain and anger and fear after the presidential election, an expression of kindness. 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 — including Trump supporters.
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
Real love for our nation calls us to look at ourselves, as citizens, whole. A long view on the future of a beloved and broken America, and our potential to shape it moving forward.
There is beauty in what makes us human, but also in what reveals us as creatures. A woman shares her evolving perspective on the animal nature of family life, and the raw freedom she finds therein.
If you could speak to a passed friend or family member, what would you say? An exploration of the healing that can happen when we stay in relationship with the ones we love, even beyond the end of life
Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one’s own, as well as for the families of strangers.
Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason’s new memoir and turning toward what’s uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel.