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Knowing's Reach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Griffin   
Saturday, February 28 2009 20:42
A snippet from my memoir: "Theologians in my tradition used to know altogether too much about God. Some still do."
Celebrated Composer Speaks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Griffin   
Friday, February 27 2009 09:12

Distinguished composer Gunther Schuller at age 83 triumphed, in early February, at the Boston Symphony's world premiere performance of his latest work "Where The Word Ends."

In an interview the following week, he shared with this writer his experience of later life. "I'm much wiser, much more tolerant, more gently critical," he said. "I find that the activity of my brain, my mind is greater and deeper. I have a   mental fertility."

"Now there is a kind of depth of my thinking and my exploring things, and every day I come up with so many new ideas, new thoughts and feelings that I've never had before."

"I'm attributing that to living long enough; you also learn a lot and you gain from that. You accumulate so many experiences that they enrich your inner self."

Encounter With A Grump PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Griffin   
Monday, February 16 2009 14:47
At the pool for my daily swim, I found the lanes crowded. So I asked a fellow in the far lane if he would share it with me. Yes, he told me, so I climbed in.

Soon I discovered him using the backstroke to return each time from the far end. That infringed on my side of the lane and, moreover, caused his left arm to hit me several times.

This uncomfortable situation moved me to protest to the man. When I did so, he turned toward me in the water and said: “You are a grumpy old man.”

Never before had I received such an age-based accusation. When I later saw the man in the locker room, I protested that I had been the target of discrimination. He replied: “Well, you deserved it,” and then walked off. A moment later, he returned and told me: “I take back the age part.”

The moral of this anecdote?  You decide.
Saturday, June 18 2016
When I was growing up, my parents received Life magazine every week. It was a valuable source of information, especially for my father, who was a newspaperman. For me and my younger brothers and... Read more...
Silence and Meditation
Friday, June 17 2016
The New Yorker magazine, of some fifteen years ago, published a cartoon showing two Buddhist monks. They are sitting next to one another outside their monastery. The one on the left says to his... Read more...
Injustice Paid For
Friday, June 17 2016
Radovan Karadzic is a name that many of us have forgotten.   Recent events have reminded us of the horrific role he played in the European history of the late twentieth century. Belatedly, he has... Read more...
Dan Aaron - - Dear Friend
Thursday, June 16 2016
One of my dearest friends died last week.  He had been one hundred and three years old. I considered knowing Daniel Aaron a blessing. About himself, he had many things to say, virtually all worth... Read more...
Offer For Help
Saturday, March 26 2016
Leaving the gym, I was walking down a flight of stairs to the sidewalk.  A few steps showed traces of snow and ice. I was gripping the banister tightly.  I had almost reached the bottom when I... Read more...
Voters Less Sectarian
Friday, March 25 2016
Something once said by the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard applies beautifully to old age as a vocation.  “What is it to be God’s chosen?,” he asks. “It is to be denied in youth the wishes of... Read more...
Obama's State of the Union
Wednesday, February 24 2016
You and I most likely did not get a seat at Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in Washington earlier this month. But, from my television point of view, those words still offered us some fine... Read more...
Kennedy's election
Wednesday, February 24 2016
This January reminds me of another one, 55 years ago. Jack Kennedy’s centenary is coming up next year, but for me he will always be the young man from my state, taking the oath of office on the... Read more...
Tuesday, February 23 2016
My first trip outside this country took me to Canada. Back in the nineteen-forties, the family of a high-school friend invited me go with them to Montreal. I knew little of art and culture in those... Read more...
Defending Blessings
Sunday, January 31 2016
Christmas for me and my friends strikes me as difficult this time around. In a season of peace and welcome, we are increasingly aware of violation and exclusion. I have never in my life touched a ... Read more...
Happy mingling among generations of family
Friday, August 19 2016
Their names were Thomas and Bridget Keane, but to their children and grandchildren they were always Pop and Bird. They lived in Boston in the early years of the 20th Century, and raised four sons and... Read more...
New Year Signs of Hope
Monday, December 22 2008
As we enter upon either the last year of the 20th century or the next-to-last (depending on how you count), a new spirit is struggling to break forth among the world’s people. Billions of us are... Read more...
Visiting a Mosque
Wednesday, April 23 2008
On the occasion of my first visit ever to a Mosque, two dominant impressions swept over me. First, the strength of the religious piety which I observed during the community prayer and in the talks... Read more...
Dreams and Spirit
Sunday, December 09 2007
I was driving across a bridge over Narragansett Bay. The road led high up and gave me a view out over the water. Suddenly, however, and without warning, the roadway came to an end and I was... Read more...
Gay Wedding
Friday, October 12 2007
Last Monday I attended the wedding of two gay friends. One of these men I have known for several years, the other only slightly. For both of them I feel affection and wish them happiness in their... Read more...
My Favorite Guru
Monday, October 01 2007
“We are the beloved sons and daughters of God.” That was the constant message of my favorite guru, Henri Nouwen.He believed in God’s love for every person and spent his life communicating this... Read more...
Allyn Bradford’s Transformation
Friday, August 03 2007
Allyn Bradford, while meditating during a 12-day "vision quest" for deeper spiritual insight, proceeded to talk to a tree. "The tree was quite surprised," he reports, "that I was saying anything to... Read more...
Christmas Birth
Monday, December 04 2006
“It’s Christmas time,” writes an old friend in Kalamazoo. “I think of it as a spark of light at the darkest and coldest time of year, at least here where I live. I think of it as a very... Read more...
After Morning Prayers
Thursday, November 30 2006
After taking part in morning prayers with a group of friends last Saturday, I talked with one of them over coffee and cake. Though I do not know this man -  - a retired banker and current... Read more...
Thursday, November 30 2006
If you are the parent of a college student the way I am, you have become familiar with a special vocabulary used by your daughters or sons and their friends. Even when you overhear only one end of... Read more...
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