It will take some time to integrate all that I heard today at Seattle University’s 7th Annual Search for Meaning Book Festival.
It will take even longer for me to read the books I brought home, written by several of the 55+ authors who presented.
Some of my reflections and new understandings likely will make their way into future essays and blog posts. But tonight, for this month’s Afterthought, I’ll share some wisdom from Krista Tippett, the closing keynote speaker.
Tippett, producer and host of public radio’s On Being, believes we’re “in the midst of a reformation of all of our institutions.” She offered “encouragements” to do the civic, human, spiritual work she believes we’re all called to in these times:
- rediscover generous questions (the kind that invite honesty) as spiritual virtues and civic tools
- honor the difficulty of what we face and create safe spaces for human connection
- develop eyes to see and ears to hear the good news that doesn’t always get through the “broken radar” of the media
- words matter—they shape how we interpret the world and how we treat others.
Throughout the day I noted some of the words I heard repeatedly as writers talked about their work: rootedness, witness, prayer, faith, divinity, awe, discernment, transformation, mystery.
These words matter.
“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, comments overheard, maybe even bumper stickers.