Where is Your Life Taking You?

Where is your life taking you? That’s the question I heard Parker Palmer asking. The Quaker wise man was being interviewed. “I had to ask myself,” he said, “where my life was taking me, rather than just where I was trying to take my life.” It’s important to try to take your life somewhere. Without…

Clock or Compass?

We live by the clock. Running as fast as we can, trying to cram in one more thing. We vie with each other for the distinction of being the “busiest.” In his book First Things First, Stephen Covey suggests a different orientation. We ought to live not by the clock but by the compass, finding…

Tired of All the Noise?

We expect monks and mystics to tell us how important silence is. Gordon Hempton is neither of those. He is an acoustic ecologist, someone who studies the sound of the natural world and seeks to preserve it. In his book, One Square Inch of Silence, Hempton says there are less than a dozen places left…

The Work of Doing Nothing

“He started out head up and facing me,” my daughter Maggy is saying to me. “But now he’s turned head down, facing away from me. Perfect position.” She was something like six months along. I wanted to know how he (we know it’s a boy in there) makes these turns, gets all lined up. “Oh,”…

Fearless Weirdness

I am a little weird. Aren’t you? I’ve been thinking about weirdness the last few weeks because, in the Christian season of Advent, John the Baptist has appeared. Every year he comes to haunt us with his strangeness—his animal skins for clothing, his grasshoppers for food, his cave for a home, his “repent” for a…