Twenty years ago today, Krista Tippett birthed the life-force that is On Being. It began as a small local public radio show and ended up as a beloved podcast making lives all over the world infinitely more livable and luminous. President Barack Obama gave her the National Humanities Medal for it.
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“Books feed and cure and chortle and collide,” Gwendolyn Brooks wrote in her 1969 love-poem to reading, after the love of books — the reading of them, the making of them — had made her the first black poet to with the Pulitzer Prize.
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Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife. On this world, space has produced “atoms with consciousness,” in the lovely phrase of the later poet Richard Feynman. Minds. A world rife with minds, as various as they are numerous.
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To live wonder-smitten with reality is the gladdest way to live. But with our creaturely capacity for wonder comes a responsibility to it — the recognition that reality is not a singularity but a plane.
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“If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so,” Alan Watts quipped as he aimed his wry wisdom at the paradox of our search for meaning. “The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.
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It’s a hard thing, achieving perspective — hard for the human animal, pinned as we each are to the dust-mote of spacetime we’ve been allotted, not one of us having chosen where or when to be born, not one of us — not even the most fortunate — destined to live for more than a blink of evolu
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Something happens when you are in a garden, when you garden — something beyond the tactile reminder that, in the history of life on Earth, without flowers, there would be no us.
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“Time is being and being time, it is all one thing, the shining, the seeing, the dark abounding,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her splendid “Hymn to Time” shortly before she returned her borrowed being to eternity.
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“We forget that nature itself is one vast miracle transcending the reality of night and nothingness,” Loren Eiseley wrote in his exquisite meditation on our search for meaning. “We forget that each one of us in his personal life repeats that miracle.
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This is the final installment in the nine-part animated interlude season of The Universe in Verse in collaboration with On Being, celebrating the wonder of reality through stories of science winged with poetry. See the rest here.
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