Wisdom to replenish and orient in a tender, tumultuous time to be alive.
Spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and poetry.
Conversations to live by.
Fall 2023 season now available for listening in full: on the intelligence that lives in the human body — and, beyond the hype and the doom, what is the new AI calling us to as human beings? With Kate Bowler, Kerry Washington, Nick Cave, Reid Hoffman, Latanya Sweeney, Baratunde Thurston, Sara Hendren, Matthew Sanford, Clint Smith, and Christiana Figueres.
Also: a 20-year archive of beloved, celebrated, revelatory shows, with Mary Oliver, John O'Donohue, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ada Limón, Isabel Wilkerson, Desmond Tutu. And so much more.
Explore at onbeing.org.
Nick Cave — Loss, Yearning, Transcendence
Here are some experiences to which Nick Cave gives voice and song: the "universal condition" of yearning, and of loss; a "spirituality of rigor"; and the transcendent and moral dimensions of what music is about. This Australian musician, writer, and actor first made a name in the wild world of ’80s post-punk and later with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He also underwent public struggles with addiction and rehab.
Since the accidental death of his 15-year-old son Arthur in 2015, and a few years later, the death of his eldest child Jethro, he has entered yet another transfigured era, co-created an exquisite book called Faith, Hope and Carnage, and become a frank and eloquent interlocutor on grief. As a human and a songwriter, Nick Cave is an embodiment of a life examined and evolved. He sat with Krista in the On Being studio in Minneapolis, and the gorgeous conversation that followed is woven in this episode with his gorgeous music.
A Word from Krista
A little musing on this season, the spectacular finale headed your way — and ways to stay connected in the time ahead.
Sara Hendren — Our Bodies, Aliveness, and the Built World
Our built world is designed around something called "normal," and yet every single one of our bodies is mysterious, and constantly adapting for better or worse — and always, always changing. This is a fact so ordinary — and yet not something most of us routinely pause to know and to ponder and work with. But Sara Hendren has made it her passion, bringing to it her varied vocations and gifts: being a painter and loving how art reveals truth not by way of simplicity, but by juxtaposition; teaching design to engineering students; parenting three beloved children, one of whom has Down syndrome.
This is a conversation that will have you moving through the world both marveling at the ordinary adaptations that bodies make and asking, in Sara's words, "restless and generative questions": of why we organize the physical world as though vulnerability and needs for assistance are not commonplace — indeed salutary — forms of experience that reveal the genius of what being human is all about.
Christiana Figueres — Ecological Hope, and Spiritual Evolution
The ecological crisis we are standing before is at once civilizational and personal — intimately close to each of us in the places we love and inhabit, and unfolding at a species level. And as much as anyone alive on the planet now, Christiana Figueres has felt the overwhelm of this and stepped into service. She gives voice so eloquently to the grief that we feel and must allow to bind us to each other — and what she sees as a spiritual evolution the natural world is calling us to.
If you have wondered how to keep hope alive amidst a thousand reasons to despair, if you are ready to take your despair as fuel — intrigued by the idea of stepping into love and immediate realities of abundance and regeneration — this conversation is for you.
Clint Smith — What We Know in the "Marrow of Our Bones"
This phrase recurs throughout Clint Smith's writing: "in the marrow of our bones." It is an example of how words can hold encrypted wisdom — in this case, the reality that memory and emotion lodge in us physically. Words and phrases have carried this truth forward in time long before we had the science to understand it.
Clint Smith is best known for his 2021 book, How the Word Is Passed, but he is first and foremost a poet. He and Krista discuss how his various life chapters have been real-world laboratories for him to investigate the entanglement between language and the intelligence of the body — and the related entanglement between history and place. His poetic sensibility has singularly opened readers to approach a generative reckoning with American history — on whatever side of that history our ancestors stood.
Clint Smith has a way of making reckoning possible at a humanizing, softening, bodily level — in the marrow, you might say, of our bones.
“Dance Party” by Clint Smith
Clint Smith reads his poem, “Dance Party.” This poem is featured in Clint’s On Being conversation with Krista, “What We Know in the ‘Marrow of Our Bones.’” Find more of his poems, along with our full collection of poetry films and readings from two decades of the show, at Experience Poetry.
Krista and On Being changed my life
And that is not hyperbole. I’ve been a listener since 2014 and if you’re new to the show, I encourage you to go back and listen to conversations with Ruby Sales, Juno Diaz, rev angel kyodo and Padraig O Tuama. Thank you for this tender and tremendous offering. Josh, Busy Being Black
Beautiful and multifaceted
I have found this podcast a joy to listen to. Krista has an incredible presence and guides conversations through wonderful and unexpected journeys that show the complexity and beauty of our human existence. I often find myself feeling intrigued, inspired and wiser after listening to these wonderful conversations and am grateful for the glimpses they give me into lives other than my own. Thank you to the whole On Being team for giving us the great gift of these podcasts 🙏😊
Inspirational and integrative
At the core, these conversations have helped me understand, we are deeply connected. Our unique journey gifts us our perspective, OnBeing gifts us others which, in turn, enriches what we see and understand.