8 episodes

Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile learned in divinity school about the art of paying attention. In this podcast, they turn that attention to a variety of everyday scenarios in their own lives to see what’s really at stake. Each week, Vanessa and Casper walk each other through the process of figuring out what their ‘real’ questions are with help from texts ranging from movie musicals to theological treatises. In this intimate, thoughtful podcast we explore how friendship can be a tool for living a more intentional life.

The Real Question Not Sorry

    • Relationships
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile learned in divinity school about the art of paying attention. In this podcast, they turn that attention to a variety of everyday scenarios in their own lives to see what’s really at stake. Each week, Vanessa and Casper walk each other through the process of figuring out what their ‘real’ questions are with help from texts ranging from movie musicals to theological treatises. In this intimate, thoughtful podcast we explore how friendship can be a tool for living a more intentional life.

    Clothes and Size

    Clothes and Size

    CW: We discuss weight loss and size in this episode.


    Vanessa owns the perfect polka dot dress. It’s sophisticated yet flirty, it makes her feel amazing every time she wears it, and it has the cutest gold button on the back. The problem is: Vanessa no longer fits in this dress. She hasn’t fit in it for a while now. Should she hold onto it just in case? Or is it time to say goodbye?


    Drawing on the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop and the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch, Vanessa and Casper work through the questions and difficulties of body positivity.


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    • 40 min
    Neighbors

    Neighbors

    What do we owe our neighbors? 


    When Casper first moved to New York, he put a lot of effort into getting to know the other people in his apartment building. He even threw a rooftop party so that everyone could have the chance to meet one another. Now, as he’s settling into his life in NYC, he’s asking himself how much effort he really wants to put into knowing his neighbors. Should he throw another party for the new people moving into the building? Or is okay to spend his time building community with friends and family instead?


    Drawing on the book Community by Peter Block and Game of Thrones, Casper and Vanessa think through how much we should be valuing neighborliness and local community in our lives.


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    • 40 min
    Apologies

    Apologies

    Sometimes apologies that seem 'good' technically, don't actually make Vanessa feel any better.


    Is there a formula for a good apology? How do you explain yourself, but still take responsibility? Drawing upon Dirty Dancing and Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr., Casper and Vanessa think through which apologies feel the most genuine and why.


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    • 42 min
    Grandparents

    Grandparents

    Casper wants to feel closer to his paternal grandparents. But there’s a problem: they’ve been dead for a few years now. Is there a way, as he grows older, for him to keep his grandparents an active part of his life?


    Drawing upon The Suitcase by Frances Stoner Saunders and Children and Art from the musical Sunday in the Park with George, Casper and Vanessa think through how grief changes over time.


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    • 40 min
    Voyeurism

    Voyeurism

    CW: This episode discusses multiple instances of sexual assault and violent crime.


    In 2014, Vanessa was obsessed with the Woody Allen/Dylan Farrow case. Now that there’s a new documentary out on the topic, she knows she’s in danger of falling back into the ‘story’. But what’s the virtue of following a story of sexual assault so closely? Is it good to know the facts? Or is it just using the horrors of someone else’s life as our entertainment? 


    Drawing upon The Art of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson and the TV show Veronica Mars, Vanessa and Casper try to define how to have a healthy relationship with news stories about sexual assault specifically, and the True Crime genre in general.


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    • 45 min
    Driving

    Driving

    If you don’t learn to drive, are you failing to equip yourself for adult life? 


    Casper has promised himself every summer that *this* is the year he’s going to learn how to drive. And yet each year passes and Casper is no closer to having a license. Drawing upon The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel and the song Walk the Road by Kate Rusby, Casper and Vanessa try to sort out which goals it’s okay to give up on. 


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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

octopus_queen_phd ,

Simultaneously lighthearted and profound <3

I love the care that Casper and Vanessa bring to each of these conversations. When the first episode opened with a song from Mamma Mia 2 as one of the texts Vanessa brought for thinking through the ethics of tooth fairy traditions for children, I knew I'd come to the right place. Other texts brought to bear in different episodes include pop culture media from Dirty Dancing to Game of Thrones as well as Martin Luther King's letter from Birmingham jail, poetry, and academic texts. Casper and Vanessa might take questions about how to live and relate to one another seriously, but they never make the mistake of taking themselves overly seriously. Their weekly conversations manage, without fail, to be both lighthearted and profound.

EpiplecticBicycle ,

So wonderful!

This podcast is so beautiful in the way that it creates equal space for such a variety of questions and treats them with such careful attention. Casper and Vanessa are a joy to listen to, and are real troupers for being so vulnerable with their own life questions for a podcast audience ;o) I feel that I am learning so much about how make meaning out of the things I question in my own life. I also feel encouraged by this podcast to re-visit what I find beautiful and sparkly and meaningful in the texts I love and the media I consume (including Sunday in the Park with George - was so excited to hear this beautiful musical get some love!). This podcast challenges, but gently; it has been, so far, both a comfort in times of stress and a motivator in times of growth. I would absolutely recommend.

RivalAndQueenFanGirl ,

This isn’t a podcast you need to be a trooper for

Podcasts have become over saturated - it’s okay, we can admit it. It is hard to find amazing content in a vast library of selections that only seems to grow. Finding a good podcast requires being a trooper - not only when you are finding one, but also when you are listening to “episode 1” of a thousand different podcasts! But this podcast, and anything from Not Sorry Productions, is truly a gem. You don’t have to be a trooper to listen to this podcast. The audio is crisp, the hosts are seasoned professionals, and the content is original and engaging. Enjoy!

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