Episode 152: Dreams of the Dying

These events are distinct from ‘near-death experiences,’ such as those recalled by people revived in intensive care units. ‘These are people on a journey towards death, not people who just missed it.’
— Pei C. Grant, director of the research team at Hospice Buffalo.
The dreams and visions loosely sorted into categories: opportunities to engage with the deceased; loved ones “waiting;” unfinished business. Themes of love, given or withheld, coursed through the dreams, as did the need for resolution and even forgiveness.
— Jan Hoffman of the New York Times, February 2, 2016.
“We should be opening the door with our questions, but not forcing patients through it. Our job is witnessing, exploring and lessening their loneliness. If it’s benign and rich with content, let it go. But if it brings up serious old wounds, get real help — a psychologist, a chaplain — because in this area, we physicians don’t know what we’re doing.
— Dr. Timothy E. Quill, palliative care medicine expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Humanity at large has been fascinated, confused and humbled by dreams and the threshold of death since time immemorial. But what would the crossroads of these two phenomena look like and how might it help us better understand our minds and our lives? This week we're joined by Lucy Iselin to examine a New York Times article published in 2016. The thought-provoking article includes insights and perspectives from professionals in hospice care, stories from the terminally ill and those who study end-of-life experiences. How might this article and its subject matter encourage empathy through further observations of dreamers and their experiences? How do dreams of the dying differ from those whose hold on life is firmer? What can these dreams tell us about the most deeply-buried concerns and memories of dreamers late in life?

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Episode 151: If a Podcast Falls in a Forest...

A few weeks ago, Stride & Saunter ran into some technical difficulties on Apple Podcasts/iTunes and vanished altogether. As a personal endeavor, this was a frustrating time. But more importantly, it led me to reflect more thoroughly on the status of the show, the nature of the intimate connections afforded by podcasts and the value of asking for specific help from those around you. A shorter and different episode than you might expect, but we'll be back to regular episodes next week.

In gratitude,

Episode 150: Wonder Woman

I’m such a believer in the genre because I’m a believer in mankind turning stories into about what it means to be a hero and what would I do if I was a hero and how would that feel...And this is such an important time in the world for people to think about what kind of hero they would want to be and what we’re going to do to save this world that I was honored to get to join in the dialogue.
— Patty Jenkins, speaking with Screen Rant on May 31, 2017
Gal Gadot is a revelation; she fully owns the role as much as Robert Downey, Jr. owns Iron Man or Chris Evans owns Captain America. She is Wonder Woman, and it’s impressive to watch her walk the fine line between naiveté without stupidity, sexually aware without being sexualized, a warrior bred for battle who still retains a compassionate heart.
— Alisha Grauso of MoviePilot, on May 30, 2017

Modern film has become a dynamo for discussions about our world, our culture and our humanity. This role has been especially prominent with the release of a Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot. Audiences have come out en masse to marvel at her superhuman strength, commitment to justice and to appreciate her role as a female superhero in a comic landscape which often highlights male narratives. As many critics of the film have pointed out, it serves as a tent-pole of sorts, one which may determine the market viability of future female-led superhero movies. This week we're joined by Aayesha Siddiqui to examine the commentaries made by the film and to explore its unique and widespread influence. What does the movie articulate about heroism, gender and personal growth? What arguments does it put forward about the horrors of war and the conflict between bravery and cowardice?

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Episode 149: The Changing of Rooms

So much of our experiences as people rests upon the spaces and environments we occupy and traverse. In particular, the rooms where we socialize, rest, eat, learn and work have a heavy bearing on who we are and how we live. But when these spaces change, how does that process affect us? This week, Mark Ashin joins us to discuss the phenomenon of rooms shifting in time and how our memories and perceptions are tied not only to rooms themselves, but particular decorations or appearances the room might take on.

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Episode 148: What We Can Say In Music

Cultures and societies around the world have embraced and leaned upon music since time immemorial and for various reasons. Music can soothe, invigorate and stir deep reflection and profound emotional reactions. But when we introduce lyrics, perspectives and personally-charged stances into songs, how do they change? How does music allow us to communicate ideas that speech or other means of communication might not? This week, we welcome Evan Rasch to work through this concept. What are the dangers that music, as a form of communication, might present? Do we utilize music for messaging out of fear of being more direct?

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