On Being with Krista Tippett

On Being Studios

On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers, some you know and others you'll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett.

  • 11 minutes 9 seconds
    New From Poetry Unbound: A Series on Conflict and the Human Condition

    A taste of a special mini-season of Poetry Unbound — bringing contemplative curiosity and the life-nurturing tether of poetry to the very present matter of conflict in our world. In this first offering, Pádraig introduces the intriguing idea of poems as teachers and ponders Wisława Szymborska’s “A Word on Statistics," translated by Joanna Trzeciak. This poem covers statistics of the most human kind — like the number of people in a group of 100 who think they know better, who can admire without envy, or who could do terrible things. Listen, and ask yourself: Which categories do I belong to? Which do I believe?

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

    All seven parts of the series are ready for listening now in the Poetry Unbound feed and at onbeing.org

    Read Pádraig’s weekly Poetry Unbound Substack, read the Poetry Unbound book, or listen back to all of our episodes.

    21 May 2024, 6:00 pm
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Colette Pichon Battle — On Knowing What We're Called To

    There is an ecological transformation unfolding in the places we love and come from. On a front edge of this reality, which will affect us all, Colette Pichon Battle is a singular model of brilliance and graciousness of mind and spirit and action. And to be with her is to open to the way the stories we tell have blunted us to the courage we’re called to, and the joy we must nurture, as life force and fuel for the work ahead. As a young woman, she left her home state of Louisiana and land to which her family belonged for generations, to go to college and become a powerful lawyer in Washington, D.C. Then in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina made, as she has said, "a crack in the universe," she returned home to a whole new life and calling. Colette Pichon Battle is a vivid embodiment of the new forms societal shift is taking in our world — led by visionary pragmatists close to the ground, in particular places, persistently and lovingly learning and leading the way for us all.

    Colette Pichon Battle is co-founder and Vision & Initiatives Partner for Taproot Earth, a global organization which has emerged from the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy that she founded and led in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She and her colleagues are influencing manifold aspects of our ecological present, including equitable disaster recovery and global migration, community economic development and energy democracy.

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

    This show originally aired in March 2022.

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    16 May 2024, 6:00 pm
  • 54 minutes 16 seconds
    Kate DiCamillo — On Nurturing Capacious Hearts

    In her writing, it is Kate DiCamillo's gift to make bearable the fact that joy and sorrow live so close, side by side, in life as it is (if not as we wish it to be). In this conversation, along with good measures of raucous laughter and a few tears, Kate summons us to hearts "capacious enough to contain the complexities and mysteries of ourselves and each other" — qualities these years in the life of the world call forth from all of us, young and old, with ever greater poignancy and vigor.

    Kate DiCamillo has written many bestselling books, beloved by children and adults in touch with their inner eight-year-old, for two decades, including Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Magician’s Elephant, Flora & Ulysses, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Some of these have been turned into operas and movies. Her new books in 2024 include the middle grade novel Ferris and Orris and Timble: The Beginning. She is a rare two-time winner of the Newbery Medal.

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

    This show originally aired in March 2022.

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    9 May 2024, 6:00 pm
  • 2 minutes 58 seconds
    Wisdom, Solace, and Courage for 2024

    A special two-month season of On Being starts May 9. 

    Freshly curated conversations from across the On Being archive. Big new conversations and extra offerings. 

    To be present to the suffering and sorrow of this world from a place of love. 

    To accompany each other in this — and accompany the young. 

    To honor the fragility of being human. 

    To keep our capacity for joy alive as a human birthright — and as fuel for resilience. 

    To grasp the relationship between violence and power. 

    To listen to our bodies, and metabolize the distress of our collective nervous system.

    To practice the power of imagination and create new worlds and new ways of living.

    To take the natural world as teacher and guide as we stand before the species-level shifts we're called to.

    To nurture hearts "capacious enough" for the complexities and mysteries of ourselves and each other. 

    Join us.

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    2 May 2024, 7:15 pm
  • 1 hour 3 minutes
    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.

    Nick Cave is the songwriter and lead singer of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Their albums include Ghosteen, Skeleton Tree, and Push the Sky Away. Nick's recent albums with frequent collaborator Warren Ellis include Seven Psalms and Carnage. His book, which takes the form of an electric conversation with journalist Seán O’Hagan, is Faith, Hope and Carnage. He frequently writes, and answers questions from his fans, on the website The Red Hand Files.

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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    22 November 2023, 7:00 pm
  • 2 minutes 22 seconds
    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.

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    And on YouTube, grab a Poem to Carry in Your Pocket 

    21 November 2023, 7:15 pm
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    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.

    Sara Hendren is an associate professor in the College of Arts, Media, and Design at Northeastern University in Boston. She previously spent nine years teaching at Olin College of Engineering. Her book is What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World. You can also find some of her short pieces of writing on her website, sarahendren.com. Her newsletter is undefended / undefeated.  

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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    16 November 2023, 7:00 pm
  • 1 hour 19 minutes
    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.

    Christiana Figueres was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010-2016, and is known as the powerhouse who made the 2015 Paris Agreement possible — in which 195 nations worked with their wildly diverse conditions and points of view on the what and the when and the why, and yet made commitments in service of our hurting planet and the future of humanity. Her book, written together with Tom Rivett-Carnac, is The Future We Choose. She is founding partner of the organization Global Optimism and co-hosts the podcast Outrage + Optimism.

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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    9 November 2023, 7:00 pm
  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    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.

    Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. His narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and many other honors. His poetry collections are Counting Descent and Above Ground.

    Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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    2 November 2023, 6:15 pm
  • 2 minutes 25 seconds
    “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.

    Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. His narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and many other honors. His poetry collections are Counting Descent and Above Ground.

    2 November 2023, 6:10 pm
  • 1 minute 55 seconds
    “Ode to Those First Fifteen Minutes After the Kids Are Finally Asleep” by Clint Smith

    Clint Smith reads his poem, “Ode to Those First Fifteen Minutes After the Kids Are Finally Asleep.” 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.

    Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. His narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and many other honors. His poetry collections are Counting Descent and Above Ground.

    2 November 2023, 6:05 pm
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