A quick post today….
In my last post I told you about the wonderful Browsers Bookshop I visited in Olympia. In addition to The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes, I picked up a copy of Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett, who hosts and produces one of my favorite public radio programs/podcasts, On Being.
This book is a bit hard to describe, but I think you will like it if you wonder about the great spiritual and ethical questions of our time and enjoy hearing from some of our greatest contemporary thinkers – scientists, physicians, psychologists, poets, theologians, activists, etc.
This is essentially what Krista Tippett does on her radio program – engage in the art of conversation with them as they probe the meaning of life together – and in Becoming Wise she’s included highlights of some of these intriguing interviews, organized around the themes of Words, Flesh, Love, Faith and Hope.
The book jacket calls Becoming Wise a master class in living, curated by Krista Tippett. It left me feeling uplifted and hopeful, and I think it will leave you the same way.
Here are selected passages:
“I’m stretching my point only a bit when I say that in American life, every vision must begin and end in an economic argument in order to be heard, on urgent matters of human life: education, immigration, refugees, prisons, poverty, health care…
…we are bigger and wilder and more precious than numbers, more complex than any economic outcome or political prescription can describe.” Krista Tippett
“Centering prayer, spiritual direction, retreats, and meditation sat quiet for centuries, largely reserved for “experts,” the cloistered, monks or nuns or dedicated oblates and pilgrims deep inside all of our traditions. Now, even as many Western monastic communities in their traditional forms are growing smaller…..their physical spaces for prayer and retreat are bursting to the seams with modern people retreating for rest and silence and centering. They are learning arts of contemplation to take back into their families and workplaces and communities and schools.” Krista Tippett
“…there is something deeply built into us that needs story itself. Story is such a source of nurture that we cannot become really true human beings for ourselves and for each other without story – and without finding ways in which to tell it, to share it, to create it…
Do we exist for some reason other than competing with China or finding the best possible technological advances? Are there some things that are even deeper that we are meant for, meant to be, meant to do, meant to achieve?” Vincent Harding
“We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God.” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
“…anybody who travels know that you’re not really doing so in order to move around – you’re traveling in order to be moved. And what you’re seeing is not just the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall but some moods or intimations or places inside yourself that you never ordinarily see when you’re sleepwalking through your daily life.” Pico Iyer
This post and my last have been a tribute to independent bookstores like Browers Bookshop. Many thanks to Browers for putting Becoming Wise where I could find it.
I picked up an interesting little booklet of two reprinted articles by Ann Patchett with an appendix listing some of her favorite books, called The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore. In it she writes of her own bookstore, Parnassus Books and, by extension, all good bookstores.
“All my life I’ve been telling people what to read. Ask my family, ask my friends. It’s the habit of all passionate readers. When you read a book you love, the experience is not complete until you can turn around and say to someone else, ‘You have to read this book. You will love this book.'”
“Book by book, our customers vote against free overnight shipping in favor of a community of book lovers.” Ann Patchett, The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore
Do you have a favorite bookstore? Tell us about it.
12 thoughts on “Becoming Wise”
Thanks again for the shoutout. I started Becoming Wise but then decided to save it for a long-anticipated vacation (Saturday!).
Andrea, I hope you have a great vacation. Happy reading!
Great quotes. I can imagine how peaceful it might have been to just sit and read
Great quotes, Valerie!
I am picturing you sitting there in the red chair, reading your books. 🙂
That’s what I’m doing!
Glad to hear it. 🙂
I always enjoyed a small bookstore and now there are almost none. We now shop Amazon and Ebay which are about as interesting as Walmart :-). You were lucky to experience such a nice independent bookstore.
I think, maybe, just maybe, some of these small bookstores may be coming back, as so many people get tired of Walmart experiences. But it is tough for these small booksellers. I wish our economic system allowed for a better quality of life, if you know what I mean.
Yes, I do know what you mean, and I feel the same way.
Beautiful post, Valorie! I loved the quotes too. My favourites were the ones by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Pico Iyer. I also loved that sign in front of Browsers Bookshop. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Vishy! I’m traveling now, so I know what Pico Iyer means.