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Monthly Conversations

Interviews with Social Artists, Uncommon Heroes

April 22, 2010

Editor of the Month

Richard Whittaker

Have we forgotten the big mystery? Frederick Sontag observed, 'Whether people study philosophy or not, I think it's a very philosophical time. It's going to be a time of searching.' His words are perhaps even truer today than when we talked in 2002. Dr. Sontag taught philosophy at Pomona College for over fifty years and was a much beloved figure there. As we talked in his office, the transcript for his book The Mysterious Presence sat on his desk... [more]

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Threshold Choir: An Interview with Kate Munger

Threshold Choir: An Interview with Kate Munger

'What the songs do is they give the person who is dying a transition touchstone. A song is a bridge between what we know, what we can feel, and the big mystery. We consider our songs this weightless evanescent, shimmering, ephemeral, yet substantive bridge. So how we choose the songs and how we sing, the words we use and whether we use words at all, all of those things are decisions we make in the moment.'

Susan Schaller: James Castle, Keep Talking

Susan Schaller: James Castle, Keep Talking

'Although he didn't know that sound existed, he learned about it and the importance of ears. He learned that he was not considered equal to people with working ears. He learned about speech, and a few words, and that his hands would be hit if he finger-spelled or signed without speech. One framed drawing was a tower of three words: still small voice. Castle didn't strike me as someone who refused to learn. He was talking, answering many more questions than were being asked.'