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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.


"I'm a happy woman" thanks to conservation agriculture in Malawi

Happy Earth Day y’all. Here’s Wendell Berry reading "The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer" for our podcast production of "The Poetry of Creatures." Share and reblog with your friends!

I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
inheritance and destiny, so be it. If it is my mission
to go in at exits and come out at entrances, so be it.
I have planted by the stars in defiance of the experts,
and tilled somewhat by incantation and by singing,
and reaped, as I knew, by luck and Heaven’s favor,
in spite of the best advice. If I have been caught
so often laughing at funerals, that was because
I knew the dead were already slipping away,
preparing a comeback, and can I help it?
And if at weddings I have gritted and gnashed
my teeth, it was because I knew where the bridegroom
had sunk his manhood, and knew it would not
be resurrected by a piece of cake. ‘Dance,’ they told me,
and I stood still, and while they stood
quiet in line at the gate of the Kingdom, I danced.
‘Pray,’ they said, and I laughed, covering myself
in the earth’s brightnesses, and then stole off gray
into the midst of a revel, and prayed like an orphan.
When they said, ‘I know my Redeemer liveth,’
I told them, ‘He’s dead.’ And when they told me
‘God is dead,’ I answered, ‘He goes fishing ever day
in the Kentucky River. I see Him often.’
When they asked me would I like to contribute
I said no, and when they had collected
more than they needed, I gave them as much as I had.
When they asked me to join them I wouldn’t,
and then went off by myself and did more
than they would have asked. ‘Well, then,’ they said
‘go and organize the International Brotherhood
of Contraries,’ and I said, ‘Did you finish killing
everybody who was against peace?’ So be it.
Going against men, I have heard at times a deep harmony
thrumming in the mixture, and when they ask me what
I say I don’t know. It is not the only or the easiest
way to come to the truth. It is one way.


Earth Day with Eyjafjallajökull
Colleen Scheck, senior producer

On Earth Day’s past, I’ve often focused my thoughts on how to lessen my carbon footprint, and on the destructive impact of modern human activity on our planet. Today, though, I’m thinking more about the Earth’s impact on humans. The erupting Eyjafjallajökull makes Earth Day 2010 all feel a bit ironic.

Planes or Volcano?With air travel considered a principle contributor to climate change, perhaps this “act of God” that halted over 100,000 flights is Mother Nature’s way of saying, “We’ll, if you’re not going to do anything about this, then I will!”

There are many stunning images of the Icelandic volcano floating around online, including the photos above that capture the direct impact to south Iceland’s landscape and inhabitants.

But, some of the most awe-inspiring images come from the Flickr set of Örvar Atli Þorgeirsson, a photographer from Hafnarfjörður. I’d hoped to post these, both because of their beauty and quality and because of his intriguing descriptions. Alas, a photo service with deeper pockets owns exclusive rights to his images. With this photo, Þorgeirsson asks a question that sticks with me in a long view of this Earth Day:

"I have been thinking is this volcano destructive or constructive? On short times scale it might be destructive, causing local damage and global problems. On a long time scale it is constructive as this island I live on with all its beautiful landscape has been created by volcanic activity."

Infographic courtesy of Information is Beautiful