Tag Archives: orion magazine

Adventures in Solitude: A Reading List

Photo: Paula Rey (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In my adolescence, summer was a time of self-improvement. I planned my reinvention meticulously. Come the fresh school year, I’d breeze through the doors of my high school with perfect hair, new clothes, and a laser focus. Of course, I had a limited budget, hair that refused to straighten completely, and a tendency to get discouraged or distracted by the slightest obstacle. To be honest, the fun wasn’t in the result. It was the daydreaming, the dog-earing pages of Seventeen and the endless bookmarking of WikiHow articles in Internet Explorer that made everything seem possible.

This summer is my twenty-seventh. I’m looking forward to self-reflection, but I won’t be switching shampoos or going on a shopping spree. Instead, I’m going to live alone for the first time.

Read more…

On Happiness: A Reading List

March 20 is recognized and celebrated around the world as the International Day of Happiness. From a profile of “the happiest man in the world” to a Brit’s account of mindfulness-obsessed Americans, here are seven reads about happiness.

1. “The Happiness Index.” (Gretchen Legler, Orion Magazine, January 2014)

“Can a country that claims in its brand-new constitution that happiness is more important than money survive, let alone thrive, in a global economy that measures everything by the dollar?” Legler considers the tiny, landlocked Kingdom of Bhutan as a model for change for the rest of the world.

2. “The World’s Happiest Man Wishes You Wouldn’t Call Him That.” (Michael Paterniti, GQ, October 2016)

“When you meet a monk on his mountaintop, it’s like taking a drug called Tonsured Tangerine Euphoria or Rainbow Saffron Dreams. When you see the world through his eyes, everything turns lovely colors, and you suddenly find yourself un-encrusted—free of your baggage—suddenly loving everyone and everything. It’s a self-manufactured rave in your head.” Paterniti travels to Nepal to meet Matthieu Ricard—named the “Happiest Man in the World”—to learn the keys of ultimate happiness. Read more…

The Art of Arrival: Rebecca Solnit on Travel and Friendship

Rebecca Solnit | Orion | Summer 2014 | 20 minutes (4,780 words)

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The word “journey” used to mean a single day’s travels, and the French word for day, jour, is packed neatly inside it, like a single pair of shoes in a very small case. Maybe all journeys should be imagined as a single day, short as a trip to the corner or long as a life in its ninth decade. This way of thinking about it is a;rmed by the t-shirts made for African-American funerals in New Orleans and other places that describe the birth date and death date of the person being commemorated as sunrise and sunset. One day. Read more…

Our Longreads Member Pick: Symmetrical Universe, by Alan Lightman

This week’s Member Pick is “Symmetrical Universe,” an essay by physicist Alan Lightman, published in the latest issue of Orion magazine. In it, Lightman explores the wonder of nature and the principles that guide its design—helping to answer questions like why a honeycomb is a hexagon, or why human-created art embraces asymmetry.

Lightman is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of books including Einstein’s Dreams and Mr g: A Novel About the Creation.

Read an excerpt here.

Support Longreads—and get more stories like this—by becoming a member for just $3 per month.

Illustration by Katie Kosma

“State of the Species.” — Charles C. Mann, Orion Magazine

More by Orion

The writer confronts her inability to have children and explores how humans’ behavior with reproduction compares with other animals:

Like ours, the animal world is full of paradoxical examples of gentleness, brutality, and suffering, often performed in the service of reproduction. Female black widow spiders sometimes devour their partners after a complex and delicate mating dance. Bald eagle parents, who mate for life and share the responsibility of rearing young, will sometimes look on impassively as the stronger eaglet kills its sibling. At the end of their life cycle, after swimming thousands of miles in salt water, Pacific salmon swim up their natal, freshwater streams to spawn, while the fresh water decays their flesh. Animals will do whatever it takes to ensure reproductive success.

“The Art of Waiting.” — Belle Boggs, Orion Magazine

See also: “The Good Seed.” — Dan P. Lee, GQ

The way she held Menashi with her suckers seemed to me like the way a long-married couple holds hands at the movies.

“Deep Intellect.” — Sy Montgomery, Orion Magazine

Also by Orion: “The Reign of the One Percenters.” Sept. 30, 2011

The way she held Menashi with her suckers seemed to me like the way a long-married couple holds hands at the movies.

“Deep Intellect.” — Sy Montgomery, Orion Magazine

Also by Orion: “The Reign of the One Percenters.” Sept. 30, 2011

Top 5 Longreads of the Week: Stories from London Review of Books, The New Yorker, GQ, Vanity Fair, Orion Magazine, and a guest pick from arts journalist Suzi Steffen.

“The real hourly median wage in New York between 1990 and 2007 fell by almost 9 percent. Young men and women aged twenty-five to thirty-four with a bachelor’s degree and a year-round job in New York saw their earnings drop 6 percent. Middle-income New Yorkers—defined broadly by the FPI as those drawing incomes between approximately $29,000 and $167,000—experienced a 19 percent decrease in earnings.”

“The Reign of the One Percenters.” — Christopher Ketcham, Orion Magazine

See another of Christopher Ketcham’s #longreads: “Meet the Man Who Lives on Zero Dollars,” DETAILS, July 2009