Joyful Noise

Have you ever listened to The Daily, a podcast offered Monday through Friday by the New York Times? I’m not an avid follower, but if you haven’t heard the episode from June 26, I heartily recommend it. Send your spirits soaring if they need a boost and if not, well, lucky you!

Maybe a silver lining that this time home has given me is podcasts. In the past after returning home from a day of substitute teaching, I’d want silence as I chopped vegetables for salad or otherwise prepared dinner and unwound. Occasionally I experience tinnitus which a day surrounded by school sounds exacerbates. It’s merely an annoyance, I know, and sporadic, a function of being over 60 and my history of lots of loud music, but post-school silence is golden.

I’ve awakened to a poem in my inbox for years, a quiet aubade and a habit begun over a decade ago when April brought National Poetry month. Now, however, I not only read poems delivered by the Academy of American Poets and the Writer’s Almanac (also available as a podcast) each day, but I savor the sound of The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith which she began during her tenure as United States Poet Laureate. I sit with my pen poised over my notebook and know that I’ll find something to set me writing. My journaling has blossomed with her morning reflections—five miraculous minutes.

I anticipate Friday mornings and the new feature that The Moth has incorporated into its weekly line-up, “All Together Now Fridays.” This podcast first aired in 1997 and features extraordinary storytellers. Every episode concludes with: “Have a story-worthy week.” I love that! During this enforced stay-at-home time, it offers the Friday shortened version, under half an hour, and closes with writing suggestions. Usually I’ve heard something from the storytellers that throws me into my own experiences, and I’m writing away by the conclusion. I love the FULL Moth broadcasts, but Fridays are my fix.

I listened to the June 26th episode of The Daily this morning, intrigued by both the title, “A Bit of Relief:The Long-Distance Chorus,” and the blurb that introduces a 22-year veteran Staten Island music teacher of chorus for fourth and fifth graders. I am late to this party, and I know online versions of graduations abound, but there’s something special about Gregg Breinberg.

“And such as it is to be of these more or less I am,
And of these one and all I weave the song of myself.”

—from Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”

12 thoughts on “Joyful Noise”

  1. I admit that I have never listened to a podcast. Why? I really don’t know. This now has me intrigued. Engrossing stories…food for thought…writing suggestions. During these stay-at-home times we all need a little boos now and then. This sounds like a perfect solution.

    1. I’d start with this one, such an uplifting teacher-perfect one. What Breinberg says at the end? priceless! Let me know what you think. The Moth is consistently amazing. I’m looking forward to our road trip in August—fingers crossed—to catch up. Thanks, as always, for reading!

  2. I love the Moth, and get daily poetry in my inbox, but your piece gives me more resources I want to explore and add.
    Thank you for teaching me a new and wonderful word- aubade. I had to look it up, and after I got past the lingerie company ads (great name for them, BTW) I found it. I love it!

    1. Right?! What he says at the end about sharing what we each have and receiving from others, the way the perfect world should work, made my heart sing. So glad you liked it, too.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I will come back to visit that podcast! I love podcasts. I am always surprised when people tell me they don’t listen because it is such a big part of my day- I listen in the car or out on a walk or folding laundry. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Patricia, what a rich source of inspiration you have provided today. I’m taking notes. I love how you listen with your pen and journal at the ready for recording your inspiration. I am learning so much from you these days. I look forward to listening to your recommendations. We always need to be on the lookout for silver linings. Thanks a lot.

      1. No I haven’t. There are so many great writing communities out there. Thanks so much! The Isolation Journals ends after 100 Days—today is 90-something—so I’ll be looking.

  5. I will definitely plan to download the June 26 episode! Without my commute time, I’m finding that my podcast listening is way down, and I do miss my shows! The Slowdown features incredible poems. I always listen to podcasts in the car and hadn’t thought about what a rewarding way to start the day that podcast and my notebook would be. I’m going to try that. Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. I get so much from your posts, today’s for example, that I wind up following links and reading rather than actually responding. Thanks. (I returned to the New Yorker’s piece by Elizabeth Alexander, thanks to you, too. There is so much worth reading right now that I can become overwhelmed.)

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