On Being, with Krista Tippet, has long been a favourite podcast of mine. The program is described as catalyzing conversations that inspire awe and wonder. Fits right in with my explorations of awe and wonder over the past few months!
I was eager to listen in as the new season of On Being was launched recently. More wonder crept when it was announced that the first interview of the season was with another favourite person of mine, Kate Bowler. I have admired and followed Kate for several years, since reading her book Everything Happens for A Reason (and other lies I have loved). The book is her reflection of learning at the age of 35 that she had Stage IV colon cancer.
Kate is an associate professor at Duke Divinity School, the author of several other books, and a podcast host of Everything Happens. Her bravery, vulnerability, honesty, and remarkable wisdom caught my heart and soul early on.
Krista and Kate’s conversation took me to a second listen. I wanted to remember some of what stood out for me. Here are a few things I have been sitting with:
I love that Kate is Canadian, and often refers to her home province of Manitoba, and her connection to the Mennonite community there. She mentions the support from that community during her illness with lots of humour (you must listen), noting that the community has the belief that no one should be alone in their suffering, and they showed up big!
She talks about the importance of of love and the experience of unworthingess in her early stages of treatment. “ I didn’t even know who I was anymore, except that I could tell that one hook I could hang it on was the knowledge that somehow I was loved. Like lily-in-the-field loved, bird-in-a-tree loved. But I think I had spent so many months before I got diagnosed, being treated so badly by the medical profession. I had been turned away so many times for care. And so by the time I got there, it was Stage IV. And that feeling of being worthless. Honestly, I think that was the — sorry — that was, I felt worthless. So to feel loved felt like bonus.”
When asked about what hope means to her, she says: “I think hope now feels like God and love is like an anchor that’s dropped way in the future. And I’m just, along with everyone else, being slowly pulled toward it.”
Perhaps you will sit with some of this too.
Because of Kate, I visited Duke University last fall when I was in the area with my daughter Kari, to learn of its rich history, and secretly hoping I would run into Kate!!! The campus and the University’s Chapel are quite remarkable.
On Being is a podcast and a former public radio program, hosted by Krista Tippett. Titled now as immersive conversations and explorations into the art of living.
Take a listen to Krista and Kate on Being in a Body
Kate’s site if full of resources, many offered free.
I continue to explore all kinds of awe. Dacher Keltner’s book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life notes there are many kinds of awe, what I think of as big awe and everyday awe. It has been a delight noticing how sinking into poetry inspires awe, as does nature and the wonders of my personal life, and of course conversations that expand.