Like so many others, I spent the weekend listen-binging to the newly released podcast S-Town. And I really needed it.
In case you’re wondering, the title is a polite, public radio way of saying S***town. A mystery begins when an eccentric character of a person sends an email to Brian Reed of This American Life. His name is John B. McLemore. The subject line has the same name as the podcast. In that email, John B. McLemore encourages Reed to investigate a murder in Woodstock, Alabama, the s***hole of a town where he’s lived his whole life.
But the podcast doesn’t end up being about that murder. It’s about John himself.
No spoilers. Instead, I recommend that you give this podcast a listen and learn about John. Without giving anything away, I can say that this: This podcast is an attempt to find beauty under layers and layers of pain. And I think it succeeds.
Perhaps like me, you listened and really needed this podcast this week.
I’ve been weighing a lot lately. . . I think we probably all have. Last week, a couple of different situations absolutely knocked the wind out of me. I spent the last week feeling deeply sad, and at times, angry. On top of this, I know that many of us have spent the last ten weeks collectively concerned – maybe overwhelmed is a better word – for our nation and world, wondering, where are we going? Will people have what they need?
These large, collective pains and the specific ones known in our more immediate circles can weigh heavy. In moments like these, we certainly don’t need a silver lining, but it does help to find beauty in the midst of the pain.
And that’s where we need each other. Sometimes that beauty is easily found, but other times, we have to do some serious digging. And the digging process often starts in a helpful way when we look each other in the eye and say, “Me too. That’s how I’m feeling too.”
Then we dig and see what we can discover.