Society & Culture
EPISODE 9: Part 2 -- How a Vietnam combat helicopter pilot uses poetry to witness the divinity within everything
In part 2 of this two-part series, podcaster Tracy Crow, an author, writing coach, and Marine Corps veteran, discovers how special guest, Michael Lancaster -- a West Point grad, Vietnam combat helicopter pilot, and former professor of literature and moral philosophy -- uses poetry as a way to witness and honor the divinity within everything. Whether Mike is writing about the kingfishers around the salt ponds, or the tidal flows affecting the salt ponds, themselves, nothing escapes his attention. "I notice things," he says. "And they matter to me." Mike confesses his lifelong struggle with Catholicism, though doesn't shy away from crediting a Catholic priest for providing the most life-changing wisdom to date: about the value of emptying ourselves before the one we love so that we remain truly present. "Empty it all out," Mike repeats. "Empty the poems in your head, empty it all out, like the tides leaving the salt ponds...and then let it all rush back in to fill you." Mike also shares intimate details about losing Ellen, his wife of 51 years, to cancer a few months ago. And he gifts us with readings of two poems, including an enlightening story about writing his first poem in the presence of a friend while the two were enjoying the sights and sounds of the salt ponds. So let's listen in as Mike shares how he's learned to live his most creative life!
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