We were born to be creators, explorers, dreamers, and thinkers. Lately, it seems we’ve lost our connection to our world, to our friends, to the things that we love, and perhaps even to ourselves. Host Justin Baker explores thought-provoking topics each week on this mysterious journey of life -- renewing old connections and creating new ones just in conversation.
Music was my gateway into curiosity, a way to express the questions tumbling around in my mind, and to spin a thread to the past to try and understand this life. In my later years of college the real journey to finding my voice began. I was not alone. So many of us were searching for ourselves in the mirror, on a stage, in a recording. Who were we? My friend Dion Isaiah also found a light at the end of a long wandering road of misidentity, uncertainty, and an urge to break free to find himself. The road to finding his voice.
Sometimes I find it helpful to remember that our existence is a continuation of all those that have gone before. We’re carrying the torch onward from stories, ideas, and movements sparked from lives long ago. This curiosity to explore the the spaces and places just out of reach is what led me to meeting a new friend, Pete Dring. Pete lives in York, a historic city on the northeast part of England, and where, as a surprise to him, many years ago, I began a friendship on a chance meeting in the streets of York one evening.
The Hero and the Monster
Out there are things we know. There are also things we don’t know, but what about the things we’re not even aware of not knowing? I can’t help but thinking that we as human beings are not exempt from this idea of always being entangled with one another. In what we do to one, we do to another. Sometimes you meet a stranger, and know instantly that you were meant to know each other, as if you were living parallel lives all along. My friend David Ellis can certainly be described in this way. This episode is about these entangled friendships, the universe, drugs, and the trip of a lifetime.
The Art of Losing
Artists, I think, have the official say on how we’re doing as a people. It’s sort of like a barometer for the state of things in our society — how we’re handling our progress as a species. Sometimes by way of the universe you will bring people into your life that speak this artistic language — where almost every interaction is tinged with an artistic bend, a sort of mini-celebration of some new way you saw the world that day. One of those people is my friend Megan Dillon.
Glowing in the Dark
We all have heroes. For my childhood friend, Kyle Herring, it started off as the caped crusader with the large “S” across his chest. The Superman — one who in Kyle’s words had immense power — made choices for good. Through a 3AM encounter, he discovered the muse that helped him find the hero inside himself, and helped me form a very important boyhood friendship.
Cost of a Dream
The college days were a time when I was just beginning to discover myself. For many of my peers this was when, for the first time, we were making our own choices, seeing what worked and what didn’t, how we would find ourselves, and look for who we wanted to become. One of these friends, Dr. Joy Obidike, takes us back 15 years to those days as a black young woman, coming from an immigrant family, finding herself immersed in a very white world. Joy found opportunity for growth in mentorship, a pursuit in the study of science, faith, becoming Student Government President, and even to the life of public service on Capitol Hill. It didn’t come easy, and in fact came with a lot of pain.
Exactly what we need right now...
From the host’s relaxing voice to the reminder of how badly we need true human connection right now, Just In Conversation came into my life at just the right time. His conversations with his guests are both engaging and insightful. But it is really his little bits of wisdom, the honesty with which he seeks and offers it, and quite frankly the zen-like way he speaks, that are my favorite parts of this podcast. My wife and I can’t get enough!