Starting Point

Foundations for Being Alive Now

Four short offerings, more wisdom practice than podcast: life-giving, hope-generating words, ideas and practices that can literally shape your experience of reality — and shape what can become possible.

At this juncture in the life of the world, we are all stretching. We are finding the ground shifting beneath our feet, whoever we are. Think of these as tethering foundations towards walking our way into our callings in this world of so much pain — and so much promise.

Illustrations by Lisk Feng.

“Every surface of fracture in our world notwithstanding, for us all of life is being revealed in its insistence on wholeness: the interplay between our bodies, the natural world, the lives we make, the worlds we create. It is the calling of callings to make that vivid and practical and real, starting inside ourselves and with the lives we’ve been given.”

Krista Tippett

We are fluent in the story of our time marked by catastrophe and dysfunction. That is real — but it’s not the whole story of us. There is also an ordinary and abundant unfolding of dignity and care and generosity, of social creativity and evolution and breakthrough. How to make that more vibrant, more visible, and more defining?

We live in a world in love with the form of words that is an opinion and the way with words that is an argument. Yet it is a deep truth in life — as in science — that each of us is shaped as much by the quality of the questions we are asking as by the answers we have it in us to give. Precisely at a moment like this, of vast aching open questions and very few answers we can agree on, our questions themselves become powerful tools for living and growing.

We inhabit a liminal time between what we thought we knew and what we can’t quite yet see. But time is more spacious than we imagine it to be, and it is more of a friend than we always know. Cracking time open, seeing its true manifold nature, expands a sense of the possible in the here and the now. It sends us back to work with the raw materials of our lives, understanding that these are always the materials even of change at a cosmic or a societal level.

In the modern western world, vocation was equated with work. But each of us has callings, not merely to be professionals, but to be friends, neighbors, colleagues, family, citizens, lovers of the world. Each of us imprints the people in the world around us, breath to breath and hour to hour, as much in who we are and how we are present as in whatever we do. And just as there are callings for a life, there are callings for our time.

“Across my life of conversation I have seen that wisdom and wholeness emerge in moments like this — when human beings have to hold seemingly opposing realities in a creative tension and interplay: power and frailty, birth and death, pain and hope, beauty and brokenness, mystery and conviction, calm and fierceness, mine and yours.”

Krista Tippett