Laurie Anderson on choosing optimism in the midst of "apocalyptic pornography"

Listen to this episode of Anderson Cooper's podcast, All There Is, where Cooper has a conversation with pioneering electronic artist, composer, storyteller, and musical instrument creator Laurie Anderson. On this episode:

Artist and composer Laurie Anderson reflects on the death of her husband, rock legend Lou Reed and also her beloved dog Lolabelle. She talks with Anderson about grief and the unexpected feelings she has experienced surrounding loss.

Anderson Cooper created All There Is a few months ago to help him grieve the loss of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. The podcast website on CNN explains: 

Anderson Cooper takes us on a deeply personal exploration of loss and grief. He starts recording while packing up the apartment of his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Going through her journals and keepsakes, as well as things left behind by his father and brother, Cooper begins a series of emotional and moving conversations about the people we lose, the things they leave behind, and how to live on – with loss, with laughter, and with love. 

In this episode, Laurie Anderson shares thoughtful insights about the death of her longtime partner, Lou Reed, and the loss of her dog, Lolabelle. She discusses rituals of cleaning out material objects left behind by loved ones and explores Buddhist views on transitioning between life and death. She shares how she made a clay violin out of her dog's ashes, tells the story of surviving a plane crash, and encourages us to believe that we can change the stories we tell ourselves. She finds comfort in the idea that people turn into other things after they die—ideas, love, and stories, and reflects on her statement that "the purpose of death is the release of love." Finally, she challenges us to choose optimism in the face of the "apocalyptic pornography" all around us.