Today I had the good fortune of driving for about 5 hours by myself. And, yes, this is good fortune. I love a long, solitary drive. I can have silence to think about whatever I want. I can listen to music. I can sing (poorly) as loud as I want. I can take in the scenery. I can stop and get out and walk around if I want. And, I can listen to podcasts, which is exactly what I did today.
First, I listened to a couple of episodes of On Being with Krista Tippet. In one episode, she interviewed Rosanne Cash. I’ve never heard any music by Cash, nor did I know she was a writer and a physicist, but I was so impressed with her that I couldn’t stop listening as she described her process of making music as “catching songs,” a phrase I believe she credited to Tom Waits.
In the second episode, Tippett interviewed Tiya Miles who is a public historian, doing research about Cherokee slave holders and their African American slaves. Miles mentioned a line from Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved in which the reader is asked to consider a story that should not be passed on. Of course, Miles used it to frame her discussion of whether or not slave holding by Native Americans was a story that shouldn’t be told (passed on) or one that can’t help but be told (passed on).
What I love about On Being is that Tippett somehow manages to get every guest to relate his or her career, vocation, passion to spirituality, and she does it without being heavy handed or forceful. The exploration of faith or spiritual matters as invited by Tippett seems like a natural progression of the conversation, like the guests’ beliefs are so intrinsic to who they are, they can’t help but shape and formulate the interaction between them and their livelihoods, and that, in turn, can’t help but spilling out into the airwaves of the show. Krista Tippett has my dream job.
The next podcast I listened to was the Jesus Radicals‘ Iconocast where they interviewed Shannon Kearns, the pastor of the House of Transfiguration in Minneapolis. Kearns spoke about flattening the hierarchy, queer theology, and the ways in which the gospel is simultaneously intellectual and emotional. He also fielded questions about God and gender and the ways in which his own transgendered body informs his understanding of theology, the church, and God. Perhaps most interesting to me was his discussion of wounds and the way they record, they are the proof of, transitions.
This was one of the better interviews they’ve done, and I think I may just drop by this church in a couple of years when we move to Minneapolis. While I admit I am nowhere near where the Jesus Radicals are, I very much appreciate their ministry, and I respect their beliefs. I especially love it when they help give voice to people who are helping the Church move in ways that are more inclusive to those who have been disenfranchised by the wider Church family.
Finally, I listened to T.C. Boyle’s “Rapture of the Deep” on Selected Shorts. Jacques Cousteau’s temperamental French chef plans a mutiny because he is sick and tired of preparing and eating poisson, poisson, poisson. My favorite part is when the chef beings making bad American comfort food, like macaroni and cheese or tuna casserole. Hilarious.