Everything Is A Road with Phil Cousineau

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Noticing life out of the corner of our eye takes some attention. We are often dazzled by the spectacle of what is in front of us. However, there are precious treasures that may only be seen by a fleeting glance. From his extensive, world-circling travels Cousineau observes: “We’re going to be blinded by the glamour of the world, by what everybody else sees or what the Chamber of Commerce wants us to see. The real art, the real story takes place out of the corner of the eye.” He guides us superbly by demonstrating how to find moments of true depth and meaning. He emboldens us to be awake to the small details when “life leaps out at you.” His advice about writing is that if some small thing causes us to wonder and be amazed we should “take it out for a walk.” He says, “It’s the communication of a moment in which we glean meaning out of the vast meaningless.” As a writer we may start out telling some preconceived story, but if we allow ourselves the space and freedom, we may find that the best stories come from small moments that have grabbed our attention. Thus the personal becomes the universal. Travel with Phil from the cardboard rocket ship of his youth to the footprints on a 3 million year old road. You’ll be enthralled and inspirited by his many stories. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, filmmaker, photographer, art and literary tour leader, teacher of creativity, a lifelong lover of the night, and an all around Renaissance man. He’s published over 30 books and has over 25 documentary film writing credits. He is also host and co-writer of Global Spirit, a nationally broadcast television series. He's a guest host for New Dimensions Radio.

His books include:

He is consulting editor of:

To learn more about Phil Cousineau’s work go to www.philcousineau.net.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How “life as a road” has been a defining metaphor in Cousineau’s life
  • How, as a writer, we must go deep enough into our own stories to find the universal
  • His advice to have a pen ready for those moments when “life leaps out” at you
  • What happens with our imagination as we write about moments
  • Phil’s description of a samurai with a bat at the three story batting cage in Tokyo
  • How writing is about taking your unique response to a moment or memory out for a walk
  • How Cousineau ended up interviewing Jeremy Irons at Cannes
  • How we are all longing for depth and meaning
  • Why we must pay attention to what is glimpsed out of the corner of our eye rather than be dazzled by the glamour in front of us
  • How the real purpose of pilgrimage is to come home and recognize your own backyard as sacred ground

Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 9/9/2015      Program Number: 3556

Music Playlist

From Album: Windham Hill Retrospective by Alex De Grassi
Artist: Alex de Grassi
2010 Windham Hill E2-VWH-21011

Opening Essay: Track 01 Overland
Music Break 1: Track 12 Turning: Turning Back
Music Break 2: Track 09 A Momentary Change of Heart
Music Break 3: Track 04 Window