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Ponders

This category contains 11 posts

Repairing the Cosmos: Things hidden and things healed.

I heard this story by physician Rachel Naomi Remen during an On Being podcast today. It’s a story she remembers her grandfather reciting about tikkun olam, the repairing of the cosmos: In the beginning there was only the holy darkness; the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then in the course of history, at a moment … Continue reading

The Blank.

One of my favorite ponders is how the rest of the world fills in the blank, Life is            . I have a friend who really believes life is simple. Roberto Benigni poignantly reminds us that life is beautiful. Forrest Gump says it’s like a box of chocolates. And the first page of a … Continue reading

Understanding.

“it probably takes him the rest of his life to understand what had happened…” This was the last line in one of my favorite blog followings today. As someone who highly values understanding, this sentiment is striking. I’m not very old, but it seems like the older I get, the less I can hope to … Continue reading

The Boundaries of Life and Death

Have you ever been a part of celebrating a new life entering the world? When someone is born you dream, you imagine, you envision this new, little person’s future. We look forward to who he will become and what she will do. What about mourning the end of a life? Family and friends come together to … Continue reading

What’s makes you, you?

This is a constant ponder of mine. How do we develop our identities? Where does this knowledge come from? What experiences have made you, you? I’m reading Interior Castles by the great mystic Teresa of Avila. She writes this almost preposterous claim, “I do not know if I have explained this clearly: self-knowledge is so important that, even if you … Continue reading

New Words

You know when you stumble upon a word and you suddenly start seeing, saying, and writing it everywhere? When your language repertoire envelops a new word. Not necessarily a word you’ve never used (or known) before, but one that enters with a new frequency and force. You become hyper aware of (and almost embarrassed by) its presence … Continue reading

What Did You Study In Undergrad?

“What did you study in undergrad?” “Oh, um, Speech Pathology…”  [Perplexed, sideways glace.] “Yeah…it’s totally unrelated to theology.”  [I chuckle, attempting to shrug off the sheepish awkwardness I feel and move on.] I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation. I dissected cadavers in my undergrad classes, could transcribe conversations using the phonetic … Continue reading

Light + Dark

What is light’s relationship to darkness? A persistent ponder of mine, one that confronts me quite often from all sorts of different angles: “The darkness is not the absence of light, but the terror that comes from the blinding light.” – Jacob Boehme “The darkness and the light are both alike” -Psalm 139:12 “We travelers, walking to … Continue reading

Do you get it yet?

The answer, I think, should always be no. Like a good poem, or a meaningful song, you don’t ‘get’ it in the first experience. What about the 20th reading? Or the hundredth time you’ve heard it? How long until you get it; until you can check that box and move on to the next one? The good, … Continue reading

Serious Charm

What do we do with important ideas? Because merely having them doesn’t count for much. The charm of our imagination, our words, and the spaces between them become the stories we tell. These stories have the power to determine if someone listens to and trusts what we say. Stories spread ideas. Important ideas need better … Continue reading

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