Here are a few of my favorites:
Fair warning: I am in many ways a freak — therefore, it is possible that some of the recommendations below will not be appealing to you. With that said, all are things that I have had the courage enough to LOVE — so there must be SOMETHING there, within each… right? If you find nothing else within the human creations I’ve listed below, I hope that, at worst, you discover within yourself a sense of confusion and misunderstanding. If this does in fact occur, perhaps pause for a second – take a seat on an available bench within this dank, dimly lit cavern of rattling disorientation – and examine your surroundings. Do me the favor of slowing down, gazing, marveling at the mighty stalactites and stalagmites that seem to have sprouted out of the walls of this drearily mysterious space. Then stand up. Walk out of the cavern, if you like; the atmosphere outside is likely far more familiar to you. Or you may opt to stay and explore. Either way, know that to me, this damp place is familiar; it houses those good things that I do love. Your cavern of confusion is my paradise of understandability.
Of course, you may also happen to love everything on this list – and that’s okay, too 🙂
For those who feel like their life is so totally (and, more often than not, hyperbolically) disordered and out of control:
- The Productivity Show by AsianEfficiency.
- I specifically like the episode titled Avoiding the Six Deadly Sins of Productivity (TPS179).
For Runners, for adventurers:
- Feeling disillusioned with the incredulous talents of those at the top of the sport? Check out Tina Muir’s Running for Real podcast to hear from pro runners themselves their “highs, lows, and best advice for building our confidence.”
- One of my bucket list dreams is to through hike the Appalachian trail (by the way, it takes about 5-7 months). The podcast Sounds of the Trail consists of interviews, updates, and reflections from those in the midst of a through-hike. Very long journeys (such as through hikes) are beautiful in themselves — but to me, it just doesn’t get much better than hearing someone contemplate the meaning of life in the midst of such a journey. And that’s exactly what this podcast is. Therefore, I love it 😀
For the troubled, coming-of-age teen (because we’ve all been there, and, in many ways, continue to “be there”):
- The Rookie Podcast. Hosted by Tavi Gevinson, the editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine, this podcast features intimate interviews with special guests such as Roxane Gay, George Saunders, Cecile Richards, and Ibtihaj Muhammad (if you know who any of the above people are, that is even greater incentive for you to check out this insightful show).
For those seeking a.) human interest stories, and b.) to be mildly informed:
- This American Life – produced by NPR
- Fresh Air – also produced by NPR, this podcast is hosted by the Terry Gross. (Did I mention that I want to be Terry Gross when I grow up?? Or, at least just conduct Terry-style interviews. That would be cool, too.)
- The Moth Radio Hour – Have you heard of poetry slams? Well, this podcast features audios from “story slams” — and yes, they are just as awesome as they sound. I have derived some of best laughs and cries from listening to this show.
Poems: In the spirit of the choice frugality that I find to be most appealing in poetry, I’ve intentionally decided to keep this list focused and limited. (Consider this: you won’t find everything within these four poems — but if you keep peering down, you will find enough.)
- Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
- How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett
- Brian Age Seven by Marc Doty
- Ars Poetica by Archibald Macleish
- This is one of my all-time favorite poems. It epitomizes the paradox of what makes (in my opinion) great poetry so innately compelling.