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The Oxbow with Matthew Stillman

Welcome to The Oxbow. The largely improvised podcast where one-word suggestions mailed in from the audience are used as a point of departure to see how that word or phrase might inspire deeper wondering, worthy questions, and reflections on nature and culture, etymology and history, myth and place, and maybe the skill of human making... If we're lucky. Let's see.

I'm Matthew Stillman, and this is the Oxbow. Where the rich sediment of things that shaped this time and place slows to feed the verdant delta of culture.

Cinnamon Tea – The Oxbow episode 4

November 12, 2021

In this episode of The Oxbow a Benegal Spice cinnamon tea teabag is the mailed-in suggestion. This ends up being a springboard for sourcing good spices, reflecting on offerings to the divine in texts like the Hymns of Orpheus and the Bible. And then the great tale of the emergence Sri NarasimhaDev, the lion man…

Speed – The Oxbow episode 3

November 4, 2021

This episode’s word is speed.  Matthew reminisces about questionable childhood gifts, walking with Thoreau, the time man spends with his automobile, and traveling at “human speed”. Let’s also contemplate the flexibility and utility of language, and how a word like “clang” can only exist in a world where that sound is made. Zoom is a…

Notional – The Oxbow episode 2

October 28, 2021

Casey Jones by The Grateful Dead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x2m6i4KFqg Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform by Denise Schmandt-Besserat Nature word of the day from Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape Ganderbrush: In the dense backwoods of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, swampy sinks are commonly filled with a shrubby plant called leatherleaf. These plant communities, known…

Brodo – The Oxbow episode 1

October 21, 2021

In the premiere episode of his new podcast The Oxbow, Matthew Stillman sets the stage for a series of free-flow ruminations centered around a single word. This episode’s word – brodo – inspires memories of the classic tortellini in brodo Matthew first tasted in Italy many years ago, and branches off on an examination of…