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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

A reader of our newsletter, Kathy Brown, sent me this joyous video of a flash mob in a public library in Valladolid, Spain. The song is “Wana Baraka” and was performed by The Good News Gospel Choir.

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A reverent Friday Evening Melody and a sneak preview from this weekend’s guest contribution, on being a “Makeshift Mormon in New York City.”

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When you drink water, think of its source.
飲水思源
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We come out of nowhere, don’t we, in the sense that we’re a total accident. Our parents met. There’s the accident. And, you know, we’re born. Obviously, we come from someplace physiologically. And then comes the emergence of our being, which is the psychological and spiritual emergence of our being that takes time, experience, education of a certain kind with parents and neighbors and teachers and relatives and from one another humanly. And this slow emergence of our psychological being and our spiritual being is itself a great mystery. And mystery, you bet — mystery is a great challenge. It’s an invitation, and it’s a wonderful companion, actually.
- Robert Coles, in The Inner Lives of Children.
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Grief has a tremendous power. When we submerge it in avoidance, we can’t use it for spiritual growth. Allow grief’s power to propel you.
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Miriam Greenspan, from Healing through the Dark Emotions

Read where this came from.

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Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:

Egrets
Where the path closed down and over, through the scumbled leaves, fallen branches, through the knotted catbrier, I kept going. Finally I could not save my arms from thorns; soon the mosquitoes smelled me, hot and wounded, and came wheeling and whining. And that’s how I came to the edge of the pond: black and empty except for a spindle of bleached reeds at the far shore which, as I looked, wrinkled suddenly into three egrets – - - a shower of white fire! Even half-asleep they had such faith in the world that had made them – - - tilting through the water, unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.
Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:

Egrets
Where the path closed down and over, through the scumbled leaves, fallen branches, through the knotted catbrier, I kept going. Finally I could not save my arms from thorns; soon the mosquitoes smelled me, hot and wounded, and came wheeling and whining. And that’s how I came to the edge of the pond: black and empty except for a spindle of bleached reeds at the far shore which, as I looked, wrinkled suddenly into three egrets – - - a shower of white fire! Even half-asleep they had such faith in the world that had made them – - - tilting through the water, unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.

Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:

Egrets

Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that’s how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets – - -
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them – - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

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"I haven’t attended Mass in years, but I blessed it with the sign of the cross, a comforting remnant from my Catholic childhood. Making the strokes with my thumb is my way of saying: your life mattered. Your contributions were generous. You will be missed. And during absolute heartbreak, I celebrated a moment of exquisite pain: I am still alive. I can make a difference in the name of this tree. I must."
~Marianne Griebler, from "A Requiem for Trees"
Photo by Norma Desmond
"I haven’t attended Mass in years, but I blessed it with the sign of the cross, a comforting remnant from my Catholic childhood. Making the strokes with my thumb is my way of saying: your life mattered. Your contributions were generous. You will be missed. And during absolute heartbreak, I celebrated a moment of exquisite pain: I am still alive. I can make a difference in the name of this tree. I must."
~Marianne Griebler, from "A Requiem for Trees"
Photo by Norma Desmond

"I haven’t attended Mass in years, but I blessed it with the sign of the cross, a comforting remnant from my Catholic childhood. Making the strokes with my thumb is my way of saying: your life mattered. Your contributions were generous. You will be missed. And during absolute heartbreak, I celebrated a moment of exquisite pain: I am still alive. I can make a difference in the name of this tree. I must."

~Marianne Griebler, from "A Requiem for Trees"

Photo by Norma Desmond

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latimes:

President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to two Vietnam War soldiers today. “Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time,” the president said, noting that the medal is typically awarded within a few years of the acts of bravery. Above you can see which recent wars the recipients of the medal fought in.
latimes:

President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to two Vietnam War soldiers today. “Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time,” the president said, noting that the medal is typically awarded within a few years of the acts of bravery. Above you can see which recent wars the recipients of the medal fought in.

latimes:

President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to two Vietnam War soldiers today. “Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time,” the president said, noting that the medal is typically awarded within a few years of the acts of bravery. Above you can see which recent wars the recipients of the medal fought in.

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Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims pray by candlelight during a ceremony during the Timkat festival in Gondar. 
Beautiful.
Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims pray by candlelight during a ceremony during the Timkat festival in Gondar. 
Beautiful.

Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims pray by candlelight during a ceremony during the Timkat festival in Gondar.

Beautiful.

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Our latest podcast with Imani Perry (a scholar of law, culture, race— and hip hop) and the fabric of our identity is the first in a four-part series, “The American Consciousness.”

Ms. Perry acknowledges wise voices who say that we will never get to the promised land of racial equality, writing, “That may very well be true, but it also true that extraordinary things have happened and keep happening in our history. The question is, how do we prepare for and precipitate them?” We took her up on this emboldening question at the Chautauqua Institution, on the cusp of yet a new collective reckoning with the racial fabric of American life.

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The next thing you do today will be the most important thing on your agenda, because, after all, you’re doing it next. Well, perhaps it will be the most urgent thing. Or the easiest. In fact, the most important thing probably isn’t even on your agenda.
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Seth Godin

So true, so true.

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No matter what path you’re on, when you go deep into it, we all find ourselves in the same place.
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As a musician and a lover of puns, this cover of “All About the Bass” by a Jazz bassist was just too great not to share for your Thursday Evening Melody.

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I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men.
- Cesar Chavez, quoted in our upcoming show with Richard Rodriguez
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So many NFL players, so many men, carry the festering wound of having been abused themselves. As has so often been said, hurt people hurt people. It’s not until we reveal those wounds, examine them, heal them, that we will actually see a shift in male-perpetrated violence of so many kinds.

No amount of humiliation can accomplish that, and in fact, any amount of humiliation will prevent it. People may make themselves feel better as they tweet away about what a monster Ray Rice is, but they are actually increasing injury in the process.

- Courtney Martin, from her On Being column examining the violence of humiliation that’s ensued from the recent news about Ray and Janay Rice.
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