The Art of Listening

If you are a writer, you must listen. You must listen to your instincts. You must listen to the world. You must listen to the things that lack conventional voice. You must listen to the trees, the river, the deer, the rocks, the fungus, the rust, the sunrise and the moon. You must listen to your characters, to the sound of vowels, to the rhythm of language as well as its meaning. You must disengage, every day, from the noise and commerce and traffic and politics of the world. You must not let anyone tell you how to do it. You must not let anyone tell you what’s important. You must not let anyone tell you that you must do A, B, or C.

What fed your soul as a child?

Find it.

What did you do before the serpent of social media?

Find it.

Where were your secret places before you became an adult?

Find them.

What calmed your heart?

Find it.

What quieted your mind?

Find it.

What circumvented the chatter?

Find it.

What is the last thing you picked up off the ground and put into your pocket?

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4 Responses to The Art of Listening

  1. Sue Schwarz says:

    Thank you, Nancy. The last thing I found and put in my pocket was a cluster of 3 perfect acorns. I enjoyed this post and am working on disengaging somewhat from social media,which is so invasive. But, Dang, I would miss things like this and so much beautiful art if I totally gave it up. So I will keep slogging through politics and goofiness in order to find jewels like this post.

    • Nancy says:

      I love knowing the last thing you put in your pocket. Mine was a small heart-shaped rock.
      And I know what you mean about social media. It’s been very hard to filter lately, but there is a lot of beauty and generosity there too – so I scroll and scroll and scroll and make my small offerings, and continue to pick up rocks, and acorns too.

  2. Holly Wilkes says:

    How true this is for anyone that creates. Am trying to find a better balance between the outside world and my inside world. How much my morning walk adds to this. Thank you for this post as l head to my studio.

    • Nancy says:

      I think about my weaving friends often when I think about creativity. Since I write and weave, I find the internal needs of both to be similar. An added bonus for me though is that weaving feeds the writing. I’m not sure if writing feeds the weaving or not. Maybe so, as an escape from words at least. Thanks for commenting, Holly.

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