This fall, I’ve been travelling a lot, for work and for fun. This is what has been in my ears. Honestly, this is just the short list. Today’s podcast landscape and beyond, due to the ubiquity of content delivery by streaming in all media, is an amazing world. Enjoy these shows
Note on the links here: I am editing this list on my WP phone app, and I will be clumsily updating the links, bit by bit. If you have Spotify, these links should work.
Hidden Brain with Shankur Vedantam
Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell
The memory palace
Rough Translation hosted by Gregory Warner
The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos
The 500 with Josh Adams Meyers
Dolly Parton’s America
The Story Collider
Against The Rules with Michael Lewis
To an individual you
and a life I know little of now,
a great and terrible year,
too deep and too high for
a casual chord,
know when you are still,
you are still gloriously new
and also unchanged, expanding
heaven from the root,
this another year, this a different
I treasure the falling, because the flight is worth the landing.
And I do fall, a lot less than before, but I won’t stop it. I’m not naive, but I am hopeful.
This time was hard, the fall and the landing. But it was an honest fall, a short one, that only cracked the bone.
I have no clue what alchemy produces levitation, but I keep mixing.
Today, my son becomes my weightlifting partner.
Clouds thick around the edges of his vision, he doesn’t really know why he is running. Thumpthumpthumpthump. His heart and lungs are numb engines, redlined, sweaty. Dodging dark forms, his legs push through a net at his feet. Flash, then thunder shakes the ground. In a moment, his clarity returns. Trees splitting, thick underbrush, and bells. The bells are inside him, somehow inside his ears and head. His hands are cupped to a hot spot on his stomach.
Rolling, caught, he lands hard against the roots of a tree, and slides down between them as pine needles float above and around him. Flash of red and gold. A cracking sound followed by a succession of snaps and whooshing. The sound is coming from above, close, repeating around him in dampening echoes. Instantly, he is aware of the searing metal rod through his stomach and shoulders. He remembers why he is running.
The smell is Christmas. Evergreen. Blinking lights and so many bells. Cries of excitement. Logs burning in hearths and activity in every corner. He can see his breath, everywhere. Face hot, legs like ice, he shivers.
Tipping the bowl of his hands forward, with every breath, he watches them fill with persimmon seeds.
Creating in a space without weight
Expands possibilities, however,
While the scale of the project
May be practically limitless,
Its reach expansive,
Its form efficient,
Skin delicate and bones slender,
And its motion nearly effortless,
The restriction is:
Owing its uniqueness to the environment
Of its birth,
What’s built best in zero-G
Must live its entire life
It’s karate at the top of the list of my personal activities that bring me joy, satisfaction, inspiration, and anticipation. In the world of activities that rule my calendar, this is non-negotiable. My favorite night of the entire week isn’t a Saturday night watching hockey at a suburban DC sports bar with my friend, or walking up the glass stairs at the Shakespeare Theater on our way to our seats, or suddenly deciding I’ll drive two minutes away for a super hero movie, Indian food, or another walk solo (or with my furry companion). It isn’t boxing, though that’s a close second. I enjoy all those bits of my existence second to karate.
It’s the night where I head off to a small church basement five miles and twenty minutes away. I stop and bow before I enter through the side door into an open, wood paneled room. The scene isn’t a quiet dojo or anything approaching serenity. Chatter from twenty voices sounds like fifty, and along with the familiar beehive activity of the youth class, with kids running and sqealing, the picture is closer to an elementary school playground than a temple or a gymnasium.