Conscient Podcast: e70 one step at a time

e70 one step at a time is a monologue that I recorded on September 28th, 2021, in one take, while walking in the forest in Duhamel Québec, where I talk recite a poem that I wrote earlier that day about making choices and moving forward one step at a time in ‘radical listening’ mode, which is the theme of season 3 of #conscientpodcast.

one step at a time

(September 28, 2021)

We make choices by not making choices 

And we live with unbearable consequences 

We hear alarm bells, but do not respond

We cling to uncertainty like a sad song 

We act as if unaware and innocent 

We are cognitively dissonant

We write feeble poems, like this one, to lessen our pain 

We accept our fate and wait for the last day 

We know that exploitation is the cause

And we know that we are it’s children

We try to change our ways but the draw is too strong 

We are so comfortable, so selfish and so tragically wrong 

We know that one day soon we will have to tell our kids

That we knew far too much and did far too little

We think that art can change the world if only we listened 

But we know that listening is an inconvenient truth

We made a choice by not choosing 

And now we live with the consequences 

And yet, we know that it’s never too late to start a new

We know, deep inside, that this, is true 

One step at a time 

One step at a time

Stop, listen

One step at a time 

One more step at a time

Stop, listen more deeply 

One step at a time 

One step. Stop. Listen.

Me recording a monologue while I walking in the forest…


e70 one step at a time est un monologue que j’ai enregistré le 28 septembre 2021, en une seule prise, alors que je marchais dans la forêt de Duhamel (Québec). J’y récite un poème que j’ai écrit plus tôt ce jour-là sur le fait de faire des choix et comment aller de l’avant une étape pas à la fois en référence à ‘l’écoute radicale’, le thème de la saison 3 du #baladoconscient.

Une étape à la fois

(28 septembre 2021)

Nous faisons des choix en ne faisant pas de choix 

Et nous vivons avec des conséquences insupportables 

Nous entendons les sonneries d’alarme, mais nous ne réagissons pas.

Nous nous accrochons à l’incertitude comme à une chanson triste 

Nous agissons comme si nous étions inconscients et innocents 

Nous sommes cognitivement dissonants

Nous écrivons de piètres poèmes, comme celui-ci, pour atténuer notre douleur. 

Nous acceptons notre destin et attendons le dernier jour. 

Nous savons que l’exploitation en est la cause

Et nous savons que nous en sommes les enfants.

Nous essayons de changer nos habitudes, mais l’attraction est trop forte. 

Nous sommes si à l’aise, si égoïstes et si tragiquement en tord. 

Nous savons qu’un jour prochain nous devrons dire à nos enfants

que nous en savions beaucoup trop et que nous n’avons pas fait grand-chose.

Nous pensons que l’art peut changer le monde, si seulement nous l’écoutions. 

Mais nous savons qu’écouter est une vérité qui dérange.

Nous avons fait un choix en ne choisissant pas 

Et maintenant nous vivons avec les conséquences 

Et pourtant, nous savons qu’il n’est jamais trop tard pour prendre un nouveau élan.

Nous savons, au fond de nous, que c’est vrai. 

Un pas après l’autre 

Un pas après l’autre

Arrêtez-vous, écoutez

Un pas à la fois 

Un pas de plus à la fois

Arrêtez et écoutez plus profondément 

Une étape à la fois 

Un pas. Arrêtez. Écoutez.

The post e70 one step at a time appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.


About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation :

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

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