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Hear here 30 March 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings.

The prophets plead those around them to do it, parents and pundits likewise cry and despair at the (perceived?) failure to get through. To do so does not guarantee understanding or complete communication but is a vital starting point. We do it all the time, but it’s best done as a conscious act. The word set for today is listen.


As with the last couple of day’s posts (peace, remain, lose), in the political climate of the UK at this time it’s a hard word for me to wrangle with. It feels that no matter what is said about the rights and wrongs of Brexit or the Prime Minster and Government (or indeed, just about anything on any contested topic) that neither side is actually listening to the other. The truth, of course, is more subtle. ‘We‘ may listen (or in more cases, read), but our mutual non-agreement may feel like ‘they‘ aren’t listening (and vice versa). I suspect that when we use the word listen we expect a response, we expect others to take heed and change accordingly (indeed, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think of that as ‘true listening’, the delivery of a message from outside that results in an inner change that this then lived out by the hearer).

I must admit that in many ways, certainly in contemporary politics and society, I find myself spending much time talking (or shouting) back at the television or radio in frustration and annoyance at what’s being said – when, that is, I haven’t already simply turned it off in a refusal to give the person a hearing in the first place. I’m fully aware of the need to be subjected to, and engage with, opinions other than my own, and this is best handled face-to-face with all the human cues that so often are lost in textual communication, especially in our multi-stranded and brief social media encounters. If that face-to-face cannot happen, then the longer medium of considered and thoughtful writing comes to the fore and is vastly superior to things such as facebook.

More therapeutic and maybe just as valuable is taking heed of what comes naturally to my ears, and listen to them, as day’s free gifts, natural music.

The early birdsong & tyres’ rumble, bicycles’ gentle, well-oiled passing, throaty sports car exhaust roar, lorry’s shudder and bus’ diesel grumble.

Cat’s loud mew, clock’s soft tick, boiler lighting, click, click, above central heating pump’s low background thump.

Buzz of over-flying plane, lawnmower, close, far and close again. Doors’ close, leaves’ rustle, and waters’ splash.

Add to that the noises issuing from the kitchen, the beeping of microwave and the clinking of spoons, perhaps the time’s come for another coffee… to be taken outside onto the chaplaincy patio to appreciate the sun, and what other sounds, conversations, might come my way!




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