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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.
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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Landed on the image for this week’s (breathtakingly beautiful) show "Kabbalah and the Inner Life of God" in part because of this line from a W. H. Auden poem:

Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.

(Photo by Patrick Kelley, courtesy of Northern Lights.mn)
Landed on the image for this week’s (breathtakingly beautiful) show "Kabbalah and the Inner Life of God" in part because of this line from a W. H. Auden poem:

Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.

(Photo by Patrick Kelley, courtesy of Northern Lights.mn)

Landed on the image for this week’s (breathtakingly beautiful) show "Kabbalah and the Inner Life of God" in part because of this line from a W. H. Auden poem:

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

(Photo by Patrick Kelley, courtesy of Northern Lights.mn)

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"When the sun shines, it shines without any discrimination; it shines on every point of the country, every nook and corner.
We should be like that.”
~A little bit of sunshiny wisdom from The Dalai Lama, from The Way to Freedom. 
(Photo by Tommy Clark)
"When the sun shines, it shines without any discrimination; it shines on every point of the country, every nook and corner.
We should be like that.”
~A little bit of sunshiny wisdom from The Dalai Lama, from The Way to Freedom. 
(Photo by Tommy Clark)

"When the sun shines, it shines without any discrimination; it shines on every point of the country, every nook and corner.

We should be like that.”

~A little bit of sunshiny wisdom from The Dalai Lama, from The Way to Freedom.

(Photo by Tommy Clark)

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Oh man, Helen Marriage does the coolest work. Just love this video.

"It’s always an incredible moment when a city is returned to the people who live and work there. And they can wander freely as if in a playground. For no better reason than something is happening that they love."

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The silence was broken at last by the little bell which signified the end of the morning activity. Taking hold of the basket again, I prepared to leave. But I was only fourteen and curiosity overcame me. Turning to the old woman, I asked, ‘What are you looking at?’ … Slowly she turned to me and I could see her face for the first time. It was radiant. In a voice filled with joy she said, ‘Why child, I am looking at the Light.’

Many years later as a pediatrician, I would watch newborns look at the light with that same rapt expression, almost as if they were listening for something.

…A ninety-six-year old woman may stop speaking because arteriosclerosis has damaged her brain, or she has become psychotic and she is no longer able to speak. But she may also have withdrawn into a space between the worlds, to contemplate what is next, to spread her sails and patiently wait to catch the light.

-

~Rachel Naomi Remenfrom Kitchen Table Wisdom

Remembering this little glimmer of grace every time the sun peeks through this hazy shade of Minnesota winter. Her unedited conversation with Krista Tippett is marvelous. Listen generously. 

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theantidote:

Sonja Vordermaier; installation, Street Lamp Forest. Courtesy of Five Branch Tree
(via crashinglybeautiful:)

Gorgeous.
theantidote:

Sonja Vordermaier; installation, Street Lamp Forest. Courtesy of Five Branch Tree
(via crashinglybeautiful:)

Gorgeous.
theantidote:

Sonja Vordermaier; installation, Street Lamp Forest. Courtesy of Five Branch Tree
(via crashinglybeautiful:)

Gorgeous.

theantidote:

Sonja Vordermaier; installation, Street Lamp Forest. Courtesy of Five Branch Tree

(via crashinglybeautiful:)

Gorgeous.

Comments
landscapelifescape:

Prague, Czech Republic
Lights & Colors by Szentgyörgyi János
landscapelifescape:

Prague, Czech Republic
Lights & Colors by Szentgyörgyi János
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The Primordial Silence of Light on Deer Isle

by Taline Voskeritchian, guest contributor

Lilly Pads on a Pond

Luminous, mysterious. Trust me, such adjectives are not excessive nor maudlin. If anything, they capture only part of the mystery that’s Deer Isle, and the entire area which stretches from Bucksport to Stonington. For once you are Rt. 15 Hill, the drive takes a strange turn: In a moment of insight, you grasp something as you have never before — that the twin meanings of the word light must have their anchor here, in this tiny community of 3000 persons (during the summer months the number doubles), a six-hour drive from Boston.

And in your mind, this alchemy of land and water, which has little to show by way of majestic churches and monuments and big museums and palaces, has the same feel as those other — more famous, more visited — places of light, Venice and Jerusalem, for instance.

Pine Tree

Natural light is everywhere, day and night. During the day, it’s in the stillness of a pond of bright pink lilies, or against the ashen white sails of a ship in the distance, or hidden behind the gentle play of the leaves in a forest, or on the surface of the naked, glistening arms of a swimmer in a hidden cove — all this by way of the gentle wind that transports the light to the surface of things, that makes the ocean tides fold and unfold, that turns the poplar leaves this way and that, that gently sends someone through the sloping shrubs and into the warm waters.

At night, the sky is a weave of stars, especially in Mariner Park, on a mid-August night when you’re lying on a wet comforter — your spine aching and your eyes to the midnight blue sky trying to catch a glimpse of the Perseids but also simply looking, far far away at nothing in particular, the act of attention an end in itself.

Inlet

It is tomb-quiet here, not a single sound, save for the chatter of the dozen or so persons who have gathered for a talk about the night sky. The leader is a carpenter-turned-amateur-astronomer who points to constellations and talks about light in terms of going backwards in time. Time, time, time, which never leaves us, even here, in this moment of complete and total stillness and silence, which looks both ways to the past and the future, which liberates and enslaves. (There’s a reason why, as Robert Grudin writes in his gem of a book, Time and the Art of Living, that the French adjective for happy and lucky, heureux, is derived from heur, which means hour.)

Harbor at Deer Isle, Maine

Though the speeding Maine drivers can make you livid with anger, though the state has a reputation for attracting a motley crowd of outsiders and renegades, you know that their reaction is somehow equal to the conspiracy of light and wind and water which is Deer Isle. The speeding truck, the large laughter, the police car horns tear through the silence of this place with a violence which subsides as quickly as it erupted.

Unlike our human silences, this silence is primordial, the world as it must have been before speech, and will be long after we’re all extinct. These rocks, these waters, this wind, light of our days and nights.


Taline VoskeritchianTaline Voskeritchian is a translator and teaches writing at Boston University. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The Nation, BookForum, London Review of Books, Agni Review, and in Alik (Iran), Warwick Review (UK), Daily Star/International Herald Tribune (Beirut). She also blogs at Passages Home.

We welcome your original reflections, essays, videos, or news items for possible publication on the Being Blog. Submit your entry through our First Person Outreach page.

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A Source of Light in a Mechanic’s Phrase: A Poem

by Christine Poreba, guest contributor

A Mechanic's Light
(photo: Eric Tastad/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

Last summer, soon after returning from meeting my new niece, now nearly nine months old, the check engine light on my ’98 Honda hatchback came on. We brought it in to a mechanic’s shop that we hadn’t been to before. All the men who worked there were wearing these shirts that looked like bowling uniforms to me, with the script of Import Authority dancing across their backs. I had entered another world.

When we returned to pick it up, I looked down at the receipt and saw the phrase “Diagnose: cause of light.” Once again, I had entered another world.

For a moment I forgot the reason I brought it in, and my mind flashed through all the causes of light, the clearest being my new niece Clara — how the scent of her had etched into my skin, lifting its way across from California back to Florida with me. I loved how an ordinary mechanical phrase sounded so beautiful. This poem became my own way of diagnosing the daily and varied causes of light in my own life.

Diagnose: cause of light

is what the receipt
from my mechanic said.

In the top corner
of my computer screen,

discoverable is checked.
Sometimes words find us

right where we need them,
drive us out of our machines,

back to other luminary sources.
Back to meeting my month-old

niece whose name means
clear and light, the scent

of dried milk and cantaloupe,
the weight of her in my lap,

watching her hair grow, my
sister and I in a backseat again,

singing. A soft red square
of my husband’s handkerchief.

The last cardinal of the morning,
and the dog noticing the feeder

for the first time, head cocked
at the window, tail tilting

with the excitement of wing
motion, falling seed. Back to

leaving, then coming home
again, that moment when the sink

has shrunk and late summer light
settles in behind the trees.

Cause of Light
(photo: John Mann)


Christine PorebaChristine Poreba is a poet who teaches English as a Second Language to adults in Tallahassee, Florida. Her poems have been published in several journals and most recently in The Sun.

We welcome your original reflections, essays, videos, or news items for possible publication on the Being Blog. Submit your entry through our First Person Outreach page.

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These Dark Times Require Grounding Principles

by Maia Duerr, guest contributor

Buddha Moon - Buddha Stones
"Buddha Moon - Buddha Stones" (photo: H. Kopp-Delaney/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year. The other day I was wondering what it must have been like to be one of the early humans, before there was a body of cultural and scientific knowledge built up to assure us that the light would, indeed, return as we turned the corner on this day and headed once again toward spring. It must have been terrifying to see the sun drop lower and lower in the sky each day and the night grow longer and longer without really knowing if that trajectory would reverse.

So this is a dark time — not only astronomically but also the world feels dark right now.

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