Twenty Reasons for Being

A pastiche poem of tribute to the past and resolve for the possible. By Maria Popova Twenty years ago today, Krista Tippett birthed the life-force that is On Being. It began as a small local public radio show and ended up as a beloved podcast making lives all over the world infinitely more livable and luminous. President Barack Obama gave her the National Humanities Medal for it. Millions gave her their hearts as she gave us the universe of hers. It is a landmark moment for On Being as it shape-shifts into its next incarnation, and for Krista as a human being moving through the stages of a human life. Reasons for Being by Maria Popova To celebrate it, and to bow to the horizon of the next twenty years, I combed through the On Being archive to compose a twenty-line pastiche poem, made from the titles of episodes that have aired sometime in the past twenty years. Here it is, with each line linking to the episode it came from: TWENTY REASONS FOR BEING notice the ragenotice the silence —silence and the presence        of everything: small truths        and other surpriseswhat we nurturehow we live with loss        saved by the beauty of the world seeking language        large enougha life worthy of our breath when no question        seems big enough: what if we get this        right? this tiny slice of eternity —mathematics, mystery,        and the universe — this fantastic argument                        of being alive.

Twenty Reasons for Being

A pastiche poem of tribute to the past and resolve for the possible.

Twenty years ago today, Krista Tippett birthed the life-force that is On Being. It began as a small local public radio show and ended up as a beloved podcast making lives all over the world infinitely more livable and luminous. President Barack Obama gave her the National Humanities Medal for it. Millions gave her their hearts as she gave us the universe of hers.

It is a landmark moment for On Being as it shape-shifts into its next incarnation, and for Krista as a human being moving through the stages of a human life.

Reasons for Being by Maria Popova

To celebrate it, and to bow to the horizon of the next twenty years, I combed through the On Being archive to compose a twenty-line pastiche poem, made from the titles of episodes that have aired sometime in the past twenty years.

Here it is, with each line linking to the episode it came from:

TWENTY REASONS FOR BEING

notice the rage
notice the silence —
silence and the presence
        of everything:

small truths
        and other surprises
what we nurture
how we live with loss
        saved by the beauty of the world

seeking language
        large enough
a life worthy of our breath

when no question
        seems big enough:

what if we get this        right?

this tiny slice of eternity —
mathematics, mystery,
        and the universe —

this fantastic argument
                        of being alive.