listening

listening

“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear.

"The soul is contained in the voice."

StoryCorps founder David Isay and Krista Tippett have an intimate conversation about their shared love of listening — and the importance of creating spaces to tell our stories to each other. For him, the spaces where two people ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask of each other are sacred. Listening, he’s learned, is an act of love. Eliciting and capturing our stories is a way of insisting that every life matters.

"Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.”

This Simone Weil quotation mentioned by Krista during her conversation with Ann Hamilton has been bouncing around in my mind. I was reminded of it as I watched the Minnesota Youth Symphonies perform recently. It wasn’t your regular orchestra concert.

Silence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox." Quiet is a "think tank of the soul." We take in the world through his ears.

Frances Kissling is known for her longtime activism on the abortion issue but has devoted her energy more in recent years to real relationship and new conversations across that bitter divide. She's learned, she's written, about the courage to be vulnerable in front of those with whom we passionately disagree.

Listening entails vulnerability. Listening requires a willingness, even a longing, to understand another.

Listening is not about silence, or passivity. It is the only way to inform and deepen our answers while formulating better questions of ourselves and others.

A dance veteran and teacher shares her philosophy on improvisational dance as "unleashing creativity."