This Is Love

Black and white fMRI scan of Dessa's brain, with her head in profile, and a tiny red dot at the base of the brain

Episode 42: The Brain in Love

Episode #42

2022-01-26 13:08:11


Dessa spent the better part of two decades in love with the same person. They’d broken up and gotten back together over and over again. And even once they were broken up for good, she couldn’t give up hope that they still had a future. She says she felt kind of stuck. And so she started planning an experiment—part science project, part art project—to try to fall out of love.
Kate Bowler, and her young son, Zach, standing at the fork of a trail outdoors in the snow. They’re bundled up wearing jackets and gloves, both smiling, and Zach has his arms spread wide open.

Episode 41: Finding Joy

Episode #41

2021-12-15 13:02:40


In 2015, Kate Bowler was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. She was 35. “The chronic nature of what I had really lent itself to people wanting to openly explain why I was suffering. Was it something I ate? Was it something I did spiritually? Like, who’s at fault here? You know, maybe everything doesn’t happen for a reason.”
Black and white photo of an old, large American Chestnut

Episode 40: Grandfather of the Forest

Episode #40

2021-11-17 13:42:50


“On the last day of the world, I would want to plant a tree.” A story about people coming together, willing to try something.
A young white couple posing outside on a sunny day. The man is wearing sunglasses and a hat. The woman has her arm around the man's shoulders and they're both smiling.

Episode 39: Can I Speak to David?

Episode #39

2021-10-27 12:52:23


"I began to think: ‘Oh, my gosh. Everyone was against me dropping out of college, marrying a complete stranger, and moving to New York. Perhaps they may have been on to something.’”
A still life showing a goblet of wine, a peeled clementine, and a loaf of sliced bread against a sepia backdrop, with the text: Everything is Alive.

Episode 38: Tami & Ed, Sharpie

Episode #38

2021-09-29 13:01:31


Tami is a sharpie, and Ed is her cap. After all these years, marriage has left an indelible mark. Listeners of this show know that from the very beginning, we’ve wanted to highlight unconventional stories of love. Oftentimes, not romantic love. What we have for you today is one of the strangest and funniest conversations we’ve heard in a long time.
Black and White portrait photo of a young Betty Reid Soskin smiling, and wearing a hat and a suit. with

Episode 37: What Gets Told

Episode #37

2021-08-25 13:17:05


"History was dependent upon people like me remembering." A conversation with Betty Reid Soskin, shortly before her 100th birthday.
Close-up portrait of Shigeru Yabu, smiling, resting his cheek in his hand.

Episode 36: The Magpie of Heart Mountain

Episode #36

2021-07-28 12:18:19


When Shigeru Yabu was a little boy he made a new friend in an unexpected place. “That bird walked up my arm all the way to my shoulder, and we looked at each other, eye to eye.”
Jeff Ingram and Penny Hansen on their wedding day, standing together in a parking lot and smiling. Jeff is wearing a suit and holding a small dog, and Penny is wearing a white dress and cardigan.

Episode 35: My Penny

Episode #35

2021-06-30 12:14:23


In October of 2006, a press conference was held at a hospital in Denver. During the press conference, a man asked if anyone watching could tell him who he was, or how he got there. Because he didn’t know.
A black and white photograph of Patti Smith applying eye makeup with a pencil, all reflected in a mirror. In the corner of the photograph you can see a reflection of the photographer's arm holding the camera.

Episode 34: Lost and Found

Episode #34

2021-05-26 12:54:13


On today's episode: Home recordings, people recording their friends, neighbors, and strangers — for a look at how we live, and who we are, by listening closely. Featuring a 5-year-old Sofia Coppola, and Patti Smith before she recorded her first album.
Two men holding a baby, gazing down at him and feeding him a bottle.

Episode 33: On the Way to Dinner

Episode #33

2021-04-28 12:13:51


On August 28th, 2000, Danny Stewart got on the subway to meet his boyfriend Pete Mercurio for dinner in New York City. As he was exiting the station, he noticed something on the ground. It looked like a baby doll wrapped in a shirt. And then he saw the doll's legs move.
Trees against a blue sky

Episode 32: Among the Oak Trees

Episode #32

2021-03-31 12:10:01


One day in the spring of 1986, a woman in Hot Springs, Arkansas named Ruth Coker Burks was visiting a friend in the hospital. She noticed a door down the hall that had a red tarp over it, and the nurses were avoiding the room. So she decided to sneak in.
Faded photo of Lynne Cox, smiling, wearing a swimsuit, and pulling a swim cap over her head.

Episode 31: Something Large and Wild

Episode #31

2020-12-23 12:57:24


Our favorite story, for anyone who might be feeling a little lost.
An elderly man standing in a garden, wearing overalls, holding a very large bunch of celery.

Episode 30: Cheers

Episode #30

2020-12-09 13:19:30


In June of 2020, a 72-year-old man in the UK named Gerald Stratford posted a photograph of himself in his garden on Twitter. He wrote, “Just giving my onions their daily inspection, a crucial time now for veg.” The tweet, like many of Gerald Stratford’s tweets, went viral. Gerald told us he never expected so many people to like his tweets about his garden, but that he just tries to be nice and polite and so far, people like it.
Carlos Acosta as a young man, performing in a ballet, mid-leap.

Episode 29: The Dancer

Episode #29

2020-11-25 13:01:50


When Carlos Acosta was a kid, he wanted to be the next Michael Jackson. He spent all his time break-dancing in the streets of Havana. Until one day, when his father decided to put Carlos in a ballet class.
A close-up of a three-toed footprint in the sand

Episode 28: The Clearwater Monster

Episode #28

2020-11-11 00:02:31


Early one morning in 1948, a phone call woke up the police chief in the small town of Clearwater, Florida. The caller said he’d seen something strange at the beach. Residents woke up that morning to find an odd set of footprints in the sand, and a rumor began circulating...
An empty beach with steep reddish-brown dunes on the left and the ocean to the right, with a slightly overcast sky

Episode 27: He Left in a Storm, He’ll Return in a Storm

Episode #27

2020-10-28 12:38:32


There’s an old story on Cape Cod about a woman named Maria Hallett who fell in love with a pirate. According to legend, when he died at sea, she became so heartbroken that she started walking along the cliffs in storms and cursing other ships. The story goes that she believed that if she had lost the person she loved to the sea, everyone else should too. She became known as “The Sea Witch of Billingsgate,” and her story has haunted Cape Cod for the last 300 years.