the heart runs straight through

Lately, I think about listening. How bad we are at it, how everything keeps getting louder, how we talk over each other, and even, ourselves.

We’ve forgotten how to be alone with silence.

We have so many things to do, so many places to be, so many lives to fit into life.

I spend time with my 89-year-old friend and everything slows down. She doesn’t hear so well, and our communication becomes a pantomime of gesture and shouting. I spend time with my 8-month-old granddaughter and see the world with fresh eyes. Everything is new and exciting and wondrous. Everything slows down further, because we have to take time to relish each new moment and every fresh discovery.

In both cases, I find myself listening in new ways.

At night I read, turn the ever-present television off, and fall into stories. My house whispers its own secrets and my mind takes off in new directions.

I try to think of the last time I did nothing, and can’t remember. I’m always looking for something: entertainment or enrichment or connection or experience.

I crave silence, but when I find it, I fill the air with sound.

I want to remember something, the feel of roots or earth or security. And promises.

I build fires to conquer the cold and my need for something primal.

Even the darkest of months offers sympathy.

A heartbeat is the sound of existence. A symphony of seduction. A sonata of solace.

I find myself straining to hear.







9 Responses to “the heart runs straight through”

  • Susan Says:

    The noise of the world really causes me great problems. Being alone, silence, listening are all very easy and comforting. I hope you keep building those fires, reading good books and paying close attention to that grandgirl and all she is teaching you … is she really 8 months old already?!

  • Elizabeth Says:

    I have been thinking about listening too, and how I want to be better at it. My sister says I am terrible, and perhaps I am, even though I’ve always thought I was good at it. I have been stopping to stand still in the woods and listen to the silence – the silence that comes from thick heavy snow everywhere – and perhaps that will change things.

  • Diane Says:

    beautiful writing

  • Maery Rose Says:

    So true. I’ve been meditating for the past 8 days but even for that I have an app to remind me & guide me. It’s so hard to shut off all the noise – external, and even worse, internal! ☺️

  • Gerry Miller Says:

    To learn “to listen in new ways” is a beautiful thought and something I want to pursue. You have inspired me to pay attention to how I listen throughout the day. Thank you, dear friend, for this powerful gift of words!

  • Donna@Living From Happiness Says:

    I have been cultivating alone time and in silence….it is hard. Harder still is listening above the din or maybe beyond it….lovely thoughts!

  • grapeling Says:

    it’s difficult for we social animals to bear the solitude, isn’t it? ~

  • Jaime Says:

    My brother once did an experiment… he went completely silent for several months. He learned how to communicate in other ways… he learned how to listen. Brave soul, he is.

    I find more and more, I crave silence. The world can be a loud and demanding place.

    I have missed your beautiful writing. xo

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