On Being Tumblr

On Being Tumblr

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.

Oh my, I sure hope this elderly woman’s intentions are paving the road to somewhere else. From the National Post:

‘Good deed’ by rogue restoration pensioner ruins 19th-century Spanish fresco
Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) was a prized Spanish fresco — the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, near Zaragoza, where it has delighted parishioners for more than 100 years.But after a botched restoration attempt by a well-meaning DIY pensioner, Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century masterpiece looks more like a child’s finger-painting.The unauthorized alterations were made by a Spanish woman in her 80s who had apparently grown upset over the worsening state of the painting. (Centro de estudios Borjanos)

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Oh my, I sure hope this elderly woman’s intentions are paving the road to somewhere else. From the National Post:

‘Good deed’ by rogue restoration pensioner ruins 19th-century Spanish fresco


Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) was a prized Spanish fresco — the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, near Zaragoza, where it has delighted parishioners for more than 100 years.

But after a botched restoration attempt by a well-meaning DIY pensioner, Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century masterpiece looks more like a child’s finger-painting.

The unauthorized alterations were made by a Spanish woman in her 80s who had apparently grown upset over the worsening state of the painting. (Centro de estudios Borjanos)

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
Download

Knitting. Fractals. Twitter. If you haven’t listened to this interview with Rosanne Cash, you should. She’s absolutely delightful. You’ll learn something.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."
~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett
Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."

~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett

Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

Comments

PopTech is always showcasing some of the coolest things going down (or up in this case?) — like a graffiti mural on a minaret in Tunisia:

Tunisian Calligraffiti artist eL Seed (PopTech 2011) is currently suspended 57 meter in the air, creating Tunisia’s largest Graffiti mural to-date. The mural is being painted on the country’s tallest minaret, during the holy month of Ramadan.

The convergence of art and religion, the centre of much heated debate since the Tunisian elections, is being re-examined in a positive light. Approved by the mosque’s Imam, the 57 meter high mural is promising to be an awe-inspiring landmark, conveying a message of mutual respect, tolerance, and dialogue in a country brimming with countless possibilities.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments

It doesn’t get much hotter than this! A short film by Chris Bolton that captures the art of fire breathing at 2000 frames per second and truly does offer “a rare glimpse into a world outside the human perception of time.”

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
trishutchinson:

‘Viagra Falls, Ringaskiddy’ showing currently at the RHA Gallery. My first gallery showing of the work……

Congratulations! We’re great admirers of Tristan’s work, and encourage of you who might be in Dublin to see his show.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

trishutchinson:

Viagra Falls, Ringaskiddy’ showing currently at the RHA Gallery. My first gallery showing of the work……

Congratulations! We’re great admirers of Tristan’s work, and encourage of you who might be in Dublin to see his show.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments

Tea + Ink: The Empty Space Inside the Mountain

by Dorothée Royal-Hedinger, guest contributor

An intimate portrait of ex-Yugoslavian émigré artist Slobodan Dan Paich, Silent Crescendo follows his daily ritual of creating simple drawings with tea and ink. In response to the modern pace of the art scene, Slobodan has embraced these fluid works of art to express his searching approach to life.


Dorothée Royal-HedingerDorothée Royal-Hedinger is a producer at the Global Oneness Project, which produces and distributes films, media, and educational materials that challenge people to rethink their relationship to the world and connect them to our greater human potential. She lives in San Rafael, California.

Comments

Shoah: A Table of Elements

by Dov Abramson, guest contributor

Shoah: a Table of Elements

"The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary nor congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent."
—Primo Levi, The Periodic Table

The Holocaust represented a contradiction in perception: ordered, regimented evil and unrestrained, billowing pain. For decades, artists have sought to capture the ineffable destruction that befell the Jewish people.

"Shoah: A Table of Elements" describes the task of making order of the ungraspable. In so doing, it works to release some of the emotional charge of our most raw subjects, while evoking the more prominent associations of the Holocaust: the gases, the smoke, the debris.

"Shoah: A Table of Elements" is a meditation on how we commit to memory, how we use symbols, and how we represent that which we cannot behold.

שואה: לוח יסודות


Dov AbramsonDov Abramson is founder and creative director of an art and design studio in Jerusalem, Israel. His work combines classic graphic design and branding with independent artistic work that deals with Jewish and Israeli identity. His projects have been featured in Zeek, Forward, Maariv, Haaretz, and the Chicago Tribune, and his art has been exhibited at The Jewish Museum in New York and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

We welcome your original reflections, essays, videos, or news items for possible publication on the On Being Tumblr. Submit your entry through our First Person Outreach page.

Comments
"I see my work as a vehicle for relationships. A great painting isn’t great until viewers come and engage with it." —Bruce Herman, from a profile in Comment magazine.
Photo by Sheryl’s Boys (disributed with instagram)

"I see my work as a vehicle for relationships. A great painting isn’t great until viewers come and engage with it."
Bruce Herman, from a profile in Comment magazine.

Photo by Sheryl’s Boys (disributed with instagram)

Comments
Download

A Better Title for Our Show with Poet Christian Wiman?

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

It took several months, but I was finally able to make the case that Christian Wiman was a voice we needed to put on the air after seeing the strong response to his conversation with Bill Moyers on PBS. He was good; he also seemed nervous, and I wondered if that didn’t have to do with being on television being asked questions by one of America’s best interviewers.

And that’s where the beauty of radio comes in. Rather than setting up a face-to-face interview, we set up an ISDN line — an extremely high-quality telephone line that captures the intimate aspects of a person’s voice — with Krista in a studio in St. Paul, Minnesota and Wiman in a studio in Chicago, Illinois. Methinks you’ll hear a somewhat different Christian Wiman that will add to the sum of your life.

That said, I’m not too wild about the title of this show though: "Remembering God." It doesn’t do the interview justice or capture what’s relatable for many listeners out there: being raised in a faith rooted in family and culture, losing that devotion and belief in a greater Being, and returning to some type of belief that perhaps is more mature but less intense.

If you get a chance, take a listen and tell me what you might have titled it. There’s no doubt we will rebroadcast this show, and I’d be more than glad to shepherd your suggestions so we can make way for a better title!

Comments
"A real building is one on which which the eye can light and stay lit."
—Ezra Pound, poet and art critic, from a letter published in Dial Magazine (cited in Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts).
Photo by Drew Geraets (distributed with instagram)

"A real building is one on which which the eye can light and stay lit."

Ezra Pound, poet and art critic, from a letter published in Dial Magazine (cited in Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts).

Photo by Drew Geraets (distributed with instagram)

Comments
A powerful image from theamericannow:

Take a closer look at this photo…
Photographer and Vietnam vet Joe Cantrell took this photo of a crane lowering The Three Soldiers — the statue positioned near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. — into position. He snapped the photo on a visit to D.C. in 1984.
“It has had very strong effects on other vets who’ve seen it,” he says about the image, which he thinks of as a sort of self portrait. It also evokes, for him, “a multiple crucifixion” or a lynching. “The elephant in the room,” he says, “is the way we vets were treated here by our own people.”
Cantrell sent the photo and shared his thoughts in response to my Public Insight Network query, sparked by the previously unseen photographs from Vietnam just published by Newsweek. You can see more of Joe’s photos here. (Posted by Jeff Severns Guntzel. 3.21.12)

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

A powerful image from theamericannow:

Take a closer look at this photo…

Photographer and Vietnam vet Joe Cantrell took this photo of a crane lowering The Three Soldiers — the statue positioned near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. — into position. He snapped the photo on a visit to D.C. in 1984.

“It has had very strong effects on other vets who’ve seen it,” he says about the image, which he thinks of as a sort of self portrait. It also evokes, for him, “a multiple crucifixion” or a lynching. “The elephant in the room,” he says, “is the way we vets were treated here by our own people.”

Cantrell sent the photo and shared his thoughts in response to my Public Insight Network query, sparked by the previously unseen photographs from Vietnam just published by Newsweek. You can see more of Joe’s photos here(Posted by Jeff Severns Guntzel. 3.21.12)

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
Download

Meredith Monk’s Voice: A Sensory Experience That Reaches Beyond Anything in Print

by Krista Tippett, host

The singer and composer Meredith Monk is a kind of archeologist of the human voice. She’s also an archeologist of the human soul, with a long-time Buddhist practice. Meredith Monk in Songs of AscensionThrough music and meditation, she reaches to places in human experience where words get in the way — and she shared with me what she has learned about mercy and meaning, about spirit and play.

For years we here at On Being have meant to, planned to, interview more musicians. Then in the last months, for varying reasons, conversations with Bobby McFerrin, Rosanne Cash, and now Meredith Monk fell into place. What joy.

After this experience with Meredith Monk, I’m shying away from describing her with the label “performance artist.” Her music is avant-garde, but it also feels primal, ancient. She’s called herself an archeologist of the human voice. The woman we meet in this conversation is also an archeologist of the human spirit. She has a long-time Buddhist practice. Playfully, and reflectively, she mines life and art for meaning.

As listeners to On Being know, I begin every conversation, however accomplished or erudite my guest, by learning something about his or her childhood. We can all trace interesting and substantive lines between our origins and our essence, wherever we are in life. These can be joyful. They can painful. But they are raw materials that have formed us. In Meredith Monk’s case, a life in music was almost inevitable; three generations of musicians preceded her. She struggled with eyesight problems and issues with bodily coordination. Her mother — a singer in the golden age of radio — found a program called Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which uses music to create physical alignment. Later on, as a young artist, Meredith Monk describes a moment of “revelation” that the voice could be flexible like the body — fluid like the spine — something that could dance and not merely sing.

She sang before she could speak in any case, as she tells it, and after experimenting with classical musical education in college, she gave herself over to her own distinctive voice, her own art, which is rich with songs that use words sparingly or not at all. As our show with her opens, you hear her singing a hauntingly beautiful piece, “Gotham Lullaby.” It is a demonstration of one of the things she talks about, eloquently, in this conversation — the power of music to reach where words can get in the way. This can be unfamiliar, even uncomfortable for the listener, as for the performer. But it is a deeply human experience, essentially contemplative and yet infused with the emotion that music can convey like no other form of human expression.

There is so much I carry with me out of this interview. It simply enlivens the world, and deepens its hues a bit. “The human voice is the original instrument,” she says, “so you’re going back to the very beginnings of utterance. In a way it’s like the memory of being a human being.”My teenagers stretch me to appreciate that this is the redemptive effect even of music that is strange and unfamiliar to my ears and my body. Meredith Monk brings this home to me as well, but differently.

I’m also challenged by her insistence that in our media-saturated world, we must, for the sake of our souls, continue to seek out direct experiences like live artistic performance. Meredith Monk's Most Meaningful SongsThe very point of art, she says, like the very goal of spiritual life as the Buddha saw it, is to wake us up. The sense of transcendence we sometimes feel in these settings is not a separate experience but an effect of being awake, of being fully alive.

But this is too many words. Meredith Monk’s voice, and the radio we’ve crafted from it, is a sensory experience that reaches beyond anything I could print on this page. Listen. And enjoy.

And, if you have some time, I highly recommend listening to our playlist of Meredith Monk’s most meaningful songs from across the years, which she personally selected for us while doing research for my interview. Stream all eleven tracks and listen at your leisure.

Comments
"Poetry is to prose what dancing is to walking." —John Wain, British novelist and poet (1925-1994), from Personal Choice: A Poetry Anthology
Photo by Steven Depolo. (Taken with instagram)

"Poetry is to prose what dancing is to walking."
John Wain, British novelist and poet (1925-1994), from Personal Choice: A Poetry Anthology

Photo by Steven Depolo. (Taken with instagram)

Comments