WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Monica Corsaro

Commentary: In the Room Where It Happens

Jan 29, 2021

"Everyone wants to be in the room where it happens." In the home, especially when a delicious meal is served, it is the dining room, at the table.  I love having guests at my dining room table. I love the sharing of food and drink, the sharing of stories, one better than the next. Hours spent together at the table. 

Commentary: We Got This

Oct 7, 2020

A Pagan, a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim gathered for a leadership meeting of the multifaith ambassadors this past week to discuss our programs.  Sounds like a great line for a joke, but no, this is the great life I lead as a chaplain serving on a campus.  As I see how polarized the world is now with rhetoric of hate and especially distortion and outright ignorant statements about religion and spiritual identities, using my own education in theology, religious studies and pastoral care, I celebrate each time I get to be at an interfaith table in my profession of chaplaining.

Commentary: We Learn to Improvise

May 20, 2020

Wynton Marsalis has a saying: Improvisation is part of all American life. If you cannot improvise you will not survive.  And therefore, indeed, I live life as a jazz artist, because life is constant improvisation.   

In life we know there is a beginning (Part I of the jazz piece) and that there is an end death/or life's transition, (the piece is finished).  But what about the middle?  The middle is where we participate in and struggle the most.  It is where our most important decisions happen. 

Commentary: The Love of a Mother

Feb 19, 2020

Several years ago my daughter, who was then around the age of ten, frighteningly became the focus of an irrational woman's public agitation. As she physically moved in an aggressive manner towards my completely innocent daughter, I responded without thinking, putting my body between her and my daughter.  I was firm, my voice was clear, and I stood my ground until the woman settled down.

Commentary: Take Time to Reflect on Your Wonderful Life

Dec 11, 2019

Tradition! Tis the season of traditions this time of year and part of mine of course include screen time.  We of a certain age have to watch the claymation half hour specials of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and of course Santa Claus is Coming to Town. You know, Burgermeister- Meister-Burger. But a must see that I do always is:  It's A Wonderful Life.  It is a love story between George Bailey and the town he is a part of, and turns out the town is a part of him. Only at this moment the relationship is in crisis. In the opening scenes we learn through the community of voices concerned for him that on Christmas Eve 1945 George Bailey is at the end of his rope. All he ever wanted to do was leave his hometown and now at this moment, George feels he has failed everyone especially himself.  

Commentary: Serving Up Conversation

Oct 16, 2019

It is the centerpiece for "The Waltons."  Every Sunday the Reagan clan of the”"Blue Bloods" sits around it to talk about family, politics, and the moral question of the week.  For "The Conners"  it is the center of the opening credits and for once they are all laughing,  And we cannot forget the women of "Sex and the City." They always found glamourous ones to sit around to talk about too much detail of their lives, and we soaked it in.   

The Rhythm of Life

Apr 17, 2019
Photo by Rich Egger

This week in the religious world we have holidays and Holy days -- not just in one world religion but two.  It is Holy week leading up to Easter for Christians, and this Friday begins Passover for those in the Jewish faith. So today I thought I would talk about jazz -- the sacredness of jazz, the movement of jazz, and how jazz can be a conduit for the person of faith.  

Building Bridges by Learning from One Another

Feb 20, 2019

I love learning!  Yes I know what you are all saying; "Monica you better love learning, after all you are in Higher Education!"  Yes yes, yes, yes, of course. But what I mean is, I love learning outside of the classroom and the library.  It is actually one of my Spiritual disciplines,   I am always trying to learn something I did not know before.  In the past it has been inline skating, soccer, cycling, zumba…you get my drift.  Right now my passion is:  Pickleball!  I love this sport!   I was introduced to it in December and I cannot get enough of it.  What is pickleball? Have I sparked your curiosity?  

Try to be the Light for a Hurting World

Jan 30, 2019

"Would you light my candle?"  These are the words Mimi asks Roger in their opening song in the musical Rent.   Yes, I watched it this last Sunday -- that is for a different essay. Mimi and Roger have both fallen behind in their rent, and their power has been turned off.  Mimi is using a candle for both heat and light in the cold, dark apartment. But her candle goes out and so she asks Roger to relight it.  And for the audience, since we experience the dark, stark apartment, the emanating light draws us all in to this intimate moment.  Roger and Mimi find themselves living in darkness: the darkness of being diagnosed with HIV in the late eighties, the darkness of addiction (Mimi is currently addicted to drugs), and the darkness of mourning loss (Roger has lost his girlfriend to AIDS -- and who else will he lose?).  But a candle on a cold night in December gives Mimi the courage to engage with Roger and even flirt with him a little.

Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, & Me

Oct 18, 2018

The Supreme Court hearings, the news reports about climate change, the latest Supreme Court decision denying rights of our own Indigenous peoples, Kanye West has a meeting in the Oval office, what?  Hearing that was not an abuse of power?  The Dow Jones plummeting.  And let us not even start with what is going on in the twitter-sphere.   These last long weeks we were inundated with words and stories about bad behavior, even painful behavior, everywhere we turn.  I find myself asking folks in our community, "How are you doing? Are you being gentle with yourself?  What are you doing to take care of you?"

Religion & Public Policy in the Land of Liberty

Jul 2, 2018

This week we celebrate the founding of our sweet land of liberty, and in thinking about this experiment that was supposed to fail, I more-than-ever appreciate that which we are.  A country not based on Christian liberty, but a country based on religious freedom, where all can practice openly and one religion does not get to be the official "American religion."