We’re back with a guest post from a fellow Pod Pal! A big welcome to Laura Joyce Davis, the host and producer of Shelter in Place (@shelterinplacepodcast), a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart. Laura is an award-winning fiction writer, Fulbright scholar, and a 2019 WNYC Podcast Accelerator finalist. With a musician’s ear, a writer’s pen, and a voice that invites you in, Laura weaves together stories both intimate and inspiring, showing us why art, not just doctors, will save us. Find out more about the podcast on their website: shelterinplacepodcast.info.
“What is both interesting and challenging about breakthroughs is that you can’t have one without some sort of breakdown. Progress only happens because certain things start calling into question our paradigms.”
These words by Yale Professor Martin Hagglund describe what so many of us have experienced in 2020. They’re also a great description of Shelter in Place, a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart.
As a fiction writer and mother of three young children in the San Francisco Bay Area, I lived in the tension of work, creativity, and family for a long time. In pre-pandemic life, my husband was the breadwinner, which meant most of the kid stuff fell to me. Writing filled in what little margin was left. It never occurred to me that there was another way.
When the pandemic came, the paradigm shifted. My husband lost his job, the kids’ school went online, and we began to see the cracks both in our own lives and in the systems around us. I launched Shelter in Place in March to work through the breakdown in community in a time when it was easy to feel alone. I thought I’d be doing daily episodes for three weeks.
Four months later, Shelter in Place had changed my life. I’d completed season one with 100 episodes, including 50 conversations (47 of which featured women and BIPOC artists, activists, and experts), and my husband was working for me. We weren’t just creating a podcast; we were rewriting our life.
We recently launched season 2, which we’re calling Pandemic Odyssey. It follows our family’s migration across the country after wildfires and the challenges of pandemic living pushed us out of our home. Episodes feel a bit like having coffee with the friend who will laugh and cry with you, who seeks out the experts, but is still searching for answers. It’s the scariest, most vulnerable and tender writing I’ve ever done—and the most rewarding.
Shelter in Place is about embracing the breakdown. It’s a long and winding journey that doesn’t ignore the dead ends or detours, but instead celebrates our need to rely on others to help us stay on course. We don’t know how this story will end, but we’d love to have you join us. Because ultimately shelter in place isn’t just about where you find safety. It’s about where you belong.
Thank you, Laura!