As the Incense Burns 🔥
By Shun P. Writes
An ongoing discussion with the Author, Poet and Genealogist Shun P. Writes as he walks the winding paths of purpose and talks out loud about what he is learning while searching for God's face.
Episode 42 - Are you cheering for the crew of you?
On Episode 42, I have the incense burning and the waterfall bubbling. I'm thinking out loud about mankind's most consistent trait, along with some accidental, incidental poetry, a reading from my second book; and an esoteric question on the necessity of being our own cheering section, versus being poisoned by the siren song of faux cheers. Come through and grab a listen to the diction... and if I'm touching a chord with you, drop some change in the bucket I take all sorts even the kind with percussion.
January 27, 2023
Episode 41 - Thoughts and Prayers
On this episode... the first of 2023. I ask if our propensity for cruelty towards our fellow man is the best that we can do? We offer thoughts and prayers while rejecting their humanity, why even bother? I wonder about the hard truths that we run from, the resolutions that we should make in serving others... on a higher order and a fresh reading of some fresh prose based on current events.
January 02, 2023
Episode 40 - The poetry of living... are you for you? You are due, yes you.
On this this episode, I talk about the poetry of living and the importance... no, the necessity of being our OWN best cheerleader. I also read from my series: Finding the Glorious Ones a narrative called "And they laughed" a reflection on a life lesson gifted to me from my Elders. Now if this episode and podcast echoes for you? I talk about ways that you can help spread the word: sponsorships; buying my books; telling your Moms, Pops, lil cousins and all of them...
December 16, 2022
Episode 39 - Finding the Glorious Ones: When history is known to repeat
On this episode, I delve into a discussion of the genealogy lean and the beauty of history repeating, especially in families. I am joined by my cousin Anita, one of those souls who comprise my family tree, who I refer to as the Glorious Ones, as we have a winding dialogue on the power of love, the interconnectivity of family, dream work, the ancestors, history, music and food... by the way we cuss sporadically through this episode, so don't be surprised... it is what we do. Grab a listen and be a fly on the wall.
November 30, 2022
Episode 38 - Those binds of Brotherhood as Chicago is global
On this episode I explore the old adage of: "look at your friends and see yourself" are you inspired, do you celebrate their successes as if they are your own? Truth be told... I'm awestruck, I share orbits with some influential souls. That said, I am joined by one of my oldest friends, one of those who stood with me against the Leviathan of stereotypes, who reminded me... naw fuck that man, we are dope, get up... I got you, you ain't heavy. Back to the schoolyard... and into the future with gray hair and all. My brother Chuck Diesal. The original Globetrotter of the collective with roots so deep - that my Pops said: "Yeah, you and that Youngblood gon' do some things..." now nearly 4 decades later - the adventures continue albeit on different continents. I'll dig into his having a mural done in acknowledgement of his work...storytelling and making the Earth shake via those winding paths of purpose that have served to define us. Be a fly on the wall... we are talking brotherhood.
November 19, 2022
Episode 37 - Who we place on pedstals says a lot about... Us.
On Episode 37, I discuss the concept of placing those people who we admire, those souls who serve as our proxies on pedalstals and what that says about us. We are at an inflection point, where we can choose to LEARN from history or follow the same tired worn path of REPEATING it. I'll also read from recent work... Fresh prose Good People, that might have echoes of current events, life imitating art perhaps?
October 29, 2022
Episode 36 - Music as a conduit to healing: A discussion with the Son Unit
On Episode 36, I discuss the healing power of music with my son. A Licensed Music Therapist, known in East Coast circles as the Gentleman Boss, he is a Music Producer, Performer, Guitarist, Songwriter, DJ, Social Marketer and a host with the most (gimme a toast for sliding prose into the post). But... we discuss how serving others in a spirit of humility can serve to be redemptive and how the medium of music can serve to unite rather than divide. I also delve into some of his inspiration and motivation behind his music beginnings and how appealing to the best of our humanity, is the best way forward. But importantly, we dicuss ways that you can support his work - because creatives gotta eat too.
October 08, 2022
Episode 35 - What is your value proposition?
On this episode, I have an ongoing soliloquy, as I attempt to answer a question on the benefits of water therapy, in a time where selfishness seems to be the default setting for living. I wonder about those things that we honor and hold most dear... our FOUNDATIONS. That ongoing journey of living, that omnipresent search for God's face. I thought of my family and the majesty of history repeating and how we have an obligation to leave the Earth in a better place. I also touch on the poetry of living, genealogy and food for the soul with a tie in to the impending cookbook. Lastly, I make a humble ask at the end of the episode... for ways that you can support, spread the word to those who haven't heard. Such as: Becoming a monthly supporter of the podcast. Grab a book or two and write a review. For your foodie and literary fix? Follow the handle #shunpwrites on all the social media channels. I'm an indie publishing house, we are trying to keep the lights on and the incense burning.
October 03, 2022
Bonus Episode - A reading of some morning eye crust
This is a 35 second sample of something from the waking mind, that I may expand on in a wider series depending on the response.
September 06, 2022
Episode 34 - The dangers of Blindness
On epsiode 34, I talk about a higher level of blindness, the type that robs us of the vision to see ourselves and to walk in our purpose. We often fail when we subscribe to the notions that others have for us. In short, when we look at ourselves through the lenses of others it robs us of our vision. I read from a 2015 narrative, where reflect on an instance when I fell victim to this - and how I used that... which was weaponized to destroy and convert it into my fuel.
September 05, 2022
Episode 33 - The crumbling of our humanity?
On this episode I touch on the crumbling of our humanity or the traumas of the pandemic. As I read from some recent work; join me as I wonder aloud if narcisscism is our default setting; the battles or the hard work of choosing ourselves and the notions of serving something greater than ourselves which leads into a lesson or some storytelling gifted to me by way of my Family. P.S.... Make sure to respond to the poll and let me know how you be!
August 07, 2022
Episode 32 - That search for what is really going on?
On this epsiode, I return from my summer break from the podcast booth to reflect on the state of our humanity. The real trauma of us (humanity) living in a pandemic which is arguably one of the most traumatic events in recent human history or at least in any of our lifetimes. We were forced inside "under lock and key"... alone with people, who we didn't like very much... ourselves. Coming to terms with the lies that we tell ourselves is a path less traveled. It is said that we are losing our way, but I offer another, yet more controversial take. That maybe we've never really found our way, as we are at our most consistent when engaging in random arts of inhumanity towards our fellow man. And finally. In a nod to the intersectionality of food and humanity, I discuss the linkage and redemptive power of family by way of food and how it can light our way back.
July 24, 2022
Episode 31: Those echoes of Juneteeth and letters to the Ancients
On this episode I discuss notions of being free and a lesson gifted from my Uncle, as I read from a letter that I wrote to my Ancestors in 2019, pushing back against the idea of confining honor to the narrow boundaries of a single day. I learned that when the power of love is juxtaposed against history and the ugliness of humanity that freedom is an omnipresent battle that we cannot afford to lose.
June 28, 2022
Epiosde 30 - Food, family and the poetry of how history repeats
On this unscheduled bonus episode, you asked about the cookbook and my culinary leans, so I'm shaking up my regularly scheduled programming to discuss the topic of my upcoming cookbook (TBA), the influence of my Paw-Paw, who I inherited my kitchen swag from and the linkages of food to poetry. Because it is my belief that at the basic level... that food represents the best chance for humanity to come together, how is that you ask? Well... we all eat, so that said, grab a listen or a plate? Common ground... how does that sound?
June 14, 2022
Head in clouds or thoughts on and about in a world gone... madder.
It seems as if we are careening towards a fate that we cannot wrap our minds around, but we make a grave error when we assume that we are powerless and when we forget to breathe, what do we do now is the question.
June 06, 2022
Episode 29 - Same coin different sides: That vile spirit of racism
On Episode 29, we take on the spirit of racism and how it thrives in a vacuum of love, as I read through some published and unpublished work on the topic. It is my contention that racism is a crisis of the human spirit that is spread by those who don't have the capacity to love, simply because they've never witnessed or basked in its power.
May 22, 2022
Episode 28 - Momma's Day: A hat tip to mine and reflections of her heroism
On this episode, I coin a new term "Mommaness" as I discuss the power of my Mother (Hey Momma! 👋). The one who taught me how to stand in the storm. I celebrate her in the form of narratives, her role in an origin story on the forthcoming cookbook and a poem for her and all of the other Momma's in the Universe. Let this serve as a small deposit of gratitude that I have for her lending me her power in the form of this electronic medium, since what we say on the Internet stays forever? I'm gon' talk about my Momma.
May 08, 2022
Episode 27 - When our plans are known to laugh
On this episode I reflect on the power of history, how it repeats, especially in families and the purpose that we can find in honoring the sacrifices of those who allowed us to be. Too often we are guilty of blinding ourselves to our paths when we allow doubt to have a foothold in our spirit. I discuss my battles with it along with a reflection on a recent brush with my own mortality and the uncomfortable truth that we exist here with the guarantee... that we live on borrowed time. There is a war going on against the human spirit and we can't afford not to hear it.
April 25, 2022
Episode 26 - Meeting the unexpected or when Genealogy echoes
On this episode which was inspired by a question from my cousin Shirley. I talk about the winding roots of a proud people and the gifts that they bequeathed to their children (us) and the rest of our kin. But it wasn't always like that... I tried to run from the call, on multiple occassions. Yes, I reflect on the initial resistance I had towards the idea of the carrying the torch and how it brought me front and center with the "unexpected".... and how history repeated in the form of God's love in my own family. Yes, the Ancestors were/are busy. I confront the myths told about to Black Americans about finding their roots, my path to becoming a genealogist and how you can avoid the skepticism that blinded me in the early days of my own research with a sidebar on being an empath, the importance of listening to our Elders and some dream work.
April 16, 2022
Episode 25 - Are we living under seige or is it all in our head?
On this episode I pontificate ever so slightly on the concept of living under seige and how that is merely a side effect of us having short memories. History is apt to repeat and I give a couple examples of this including Marvin Gaye's thoughts on the topic and recollection on my wanderings in Japan and lessons that I gained.
April 01, 2022
Episode 24 - The therapy of water, do tell.
On this episode I discuss one of the conduits to my creative process and a medium that I use to recharge the inventories of my peace of mind... the water's edge. This notion of water therapy, isn't complex or estoeric, we simply need to be still which goes against human nature. I discuss the origin story for the first book and some mighty words from my Father. I'll also unpack some concepts of faith, inspiration and the danger of securing our motivation from external sources, while doing a couple of readings from my second book: From the Water's Edge - Volume II where I unpack the metaphor of water and learning how to stay afloat in a world drowning in its inhumanity.
March 16, 2022
Episode 23 - When fear is fraudulent
On this episode I explore the notions of fear and the lies that we tell ourselves. As I read from some narratives about fear that I have published over the years I've included some new missives and spoken word on this phenomena. However, there is an underlying theme where I wonder if we will be able to get out of our way. My synopsis or belief? Is that fear is fraudulent, it feeds off of what we freely give. That said. We should be resolved to protest against it... or to boycott that archenemy within (fear) it is my hope that you can be inspired to do the same. (BONUS) of the culinary variety... A word about how you can help to support my cookbook release (Book #3).
March 03, 2022
Episode 22 - The Genealogy Cookbook... the poetry of the culinary
On this episode, I talk about the power of storytelling and how food and words aren't disimilar. I've applied my understanding from this in my efforts as a genealogist. Given that "breaking bread" often facilitates the exchange of oral histories/stories, I've used this in my efforts to trace my roots. And I finally talk about the concept behind my forthcoming cookbook (TBA) with an origin story behind my famous Salmon Croquette, my Grandfather's recipe and how I recreated it from taste memory. Now since we are talking about food... I am open to the concept of taking tips, bon apetit!
February 18, 2022
Episode 21 - The art of being still in the storms of living
On Episode 21 - I expand on the notions of finding ourselves during the Great Resignation and coming to terms with our own humanity. Those lies we tell when we doubt our power, the fight against resisting our calling and reflections from you... the readers. In reading through some select pieces from my second book and some published work on www.shunpwrites.com. I'm waging a frontal assault on the uncomfortable truths - that we often place our faith in the wrong things... like defining ourselves by where we work? Don't we work for us, first? Don't bemirsch your worth. In this pandemic we re-learned that our humanity isn't a pretend concept or a commodity.
January 23, 2022
Episode 20 - The Workplace Part 5 - what is your soul worth?
On the this installment of As the Incense Burns. I read from my series "The Workplace" where I discuss my experiences as a Black man in corporate spaces, the dangers of performative allyship, microaggressions, passive aggressiveness galore and my tenure at a Fortune 100 entity which served as one of the most racist and toxic venues that I have ever born witness to and it left me wondering... how much is a soul worth?
January 12, 2022
Episode 19 - Are you on purpose?
As we open Season 2 - on this first episode of 2022, I touch on the vile spirit of impostor syndrome, stepping out on purpose and speaking on those inconvenient truths that we tell ourselves... so that we can get out of our way.
January 03, 2022
Episode 18 - The myth of not being enough
In this episode - I read from some old and unreleased poetry and narratives. I touch on the myth of us not being enough, the apprehension that we have in speaking truth to ourselves and the how fear immobilizes and steals that which is stored up for us.
December 23, 2021
Episode 17 - What you doing for a living...
On this bonus installment - I read from some old... and new poetry as I unpack a bit of wisdom gifted to me by way of my Father who cautioned me one day: "What you doing for a living... ain't what you are supposed to be doing with your life Youngblood." In the age of the Great Resignation people are coming to the realization that being minimized in the workplace is not the norm, but more importantly choosing ourselves isn't selfishness... it is self care.
December 18, 2021
Episode 16 - Going the Wrong Way
In Episode 16 - I read directly from a 2014 essay: "A narrative of not being ready yet." Our best laid plans always have a mind of their own. It was in the aftermath of a car accident where a seat belt saved my life nearly 10 years ago. An event that served as one of the critical sparks in helping me find some redemption against the serial acts of betrayal that I committed against myself. When we place our faith and allegiance in the wrong places... We are going the wrong way and nothing good can ever come from that. The work that I was told that I had to do... began there.
December 16, 2021
Episode 15 - Those winding paths of Genealogy
In this episode I reflect on my early reluctance in tracing my roots and the power of dreams. To having a role in mapping out over 200 years of my Family History, becoming a Genealogist and the "Ancestor Whisper" all while receiving love and disaffection juxtaposed with losing myself in a corporate space, it was through understanding the heroism and sacrifice that allowed me and my Family to persevere that I fully began to accept the role that I was told I had to play. History repeats... especially in Families.
October 10, 2021
Episode 14 - Thoughts from the series The Workplace: The omnipresent lesson of hue
On Episode 15. I discuss the realities of being a Black man in corporate spaces, against the backdrop of layoffs, pandemic, racism, the interview process and how the ability to convert the ugly in my fuel has served to be my saving grace and a bonus teaser at the end... like a Marvel 🎞 movie.
October 05, 2021
Episode 13 - Finding the Center
On Episode 13 ... A reader asked about my pause between episodes (mid season break, no?) So I'm back and reflecting on serial acts of inhumanity juxtaposed against serial acts of goodness, wondering if we are better than the "headlines". As I dig in the crates from some essays from 2017 and 2019 via www.shunpwrites.com with a bonus reading of some new work.
September 23, 2021
Episode 12 - To be a cruel contradiction
In this episode Shun P. reflects on one of those timeless instances where the darts of racism attempted to relegate his humanity to an afterthought and the strategies that he employed to ensure his survival.
September 01, 2021
Episode 11 - What about the Algorithm of our spirit?
On this episode I read from the crates - a piece from 2014, as I reflect on purpose, fear, synchronicity, honoring the Ancestors, a lesson my Aunt gifted me, the power of humility and a reading from some unreleased work.
August 02, 2021
Episode 10 - Reflections on "Casual Racism" & the Conversion Method
In this episode I reflect on an incident in where a soul showed me their racism in the workplace with a joke about an Asian girl in a photo (the girl was my niece) uh oh... I expand on how I turn the tables to convert racism into my muse. And... I include a bonus reading of some unreleased work.
July 18, 2021
Episode 9 - The Muse or the creative process
In this episode I delve into the creative process, the inspiration for my second book, a reflection on the workplace and the method(s) I use to convert racism into my fuel for prose.
July 08, 2021
Episode 8 - Reflections in the wake of Father's Day 2021
In this installment I reflect on the lessons gifted to me by way of my Father and how those echoes of purpose guided my steps... and I drag an old foe through the confines of prose as the capstone to the episode.
June 21, 2021
Episode 7 - Protecting your Heart
In this installment of As the Incense 🔥's: I discuss the frequencies of love, gratitude, those notions of speaking truth to ourselves and the omnipresent battle to accept people for who they are versus who we want them to be.
June 12, 2021
Episode 6 - Genealogy or digging at my roots (Part II)
In part two of my reflection on my efforts to trace the winding roots of my family tree - I reflect on the power of dreams and my visit to the seat of over two centuries of family history.
June 05, 2021
Episode 5 - Genealogy or digging at my roots (Part I)
In this episode I discuss some of the most important reflections and lessons that my Elders provided me with in the search for the origins of my family... along with words of advice for aspiring Genealogists.
May 30, 2021
Episode 4 - Being weaponized
In this episode, I speak on the concept of Black men being weaponized by virtue of their skin and the power of my Father. Growing up, the world implied that I should stay in my place, but the mandates that I was given charted another path for me.
May 21, 2021
Episode 3 - Those notions of loyalty
In this episode I expand on the notion of how history repeats in families, my genealogy efforts and how the selflessness of my assorted family members echoes from the historic record and into the present.
May 15, 2021
Episode 2 - The Frequencies of Momma
In this installment l discuss the power of Mothers with a missive to my Momma and a reflection on the influence of my Grandmothers in mapping out the winding roots of nearly 200 years of family history.
May 08, 2021
Who is Shun P. Writes?
In this episode - the Author, Poet, Blogger & Genealogist Shun P. Writes tenders an introduction to the "who" behind the "he" and a brief reflection on the lessons that he is "still" learning on the winding trails of life.
April 25, 2021
The inaugural episode - A poetry reading on National Poetry Month and an unintended echo.
As we kick the tires on the podcast... we delve into a reading from the latest book: "From the Water's Edge Volume II and reading of the first 3 pieces from that section.
April 22, 2021
As the Incense burns... discussions held with the author about... life.
I'll touch on those uncomfortable truths and the lies told in humankind's oldest war with its greatest foe... itself. We tell lies to ourselves because the truth is too much to bear.
April 22, 2021