Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Listening


I like listening, I adore people who listen without waiting to jump in. Although an endearing talker can make me smile; I'm sure you know someone like that, who is just fidgeting to speak, so you nod and then their words flow like pearls clattering down stairs.

I am slowly realising that there is an art to this life, and listening is another art within it; one to practice and attempt to perfect. Yes, I said perfect. I know we will never achieve that state, being flesh and fallible. Yet while knowing this and being freed from the myth of human perfection, why not aim for perfection? that way you can at least conquer the best you can do and exceed your own expectations.
This applies to listening.

It is also giving: Something to share without asking anything back, something you present, something that makes someone feel special. Listening ticks all of those boxes without coming in a gift-wrapped one.


As a child I was either incredibly shy and watchful, soaring with glee or chatting non-stop with those I felt comfortable with. Not unusual. But I recall listening in order to learn, absorb, soak in. The quiet moments taught me most. The expressions of adults as they pondered thoughts I could not reach, with emotions I could sense as keenly as fire or ice. As we grow older and savour the nuances of a deeper and wiser life, our beloveds have a lot more to say, a lot more to carry and also release.

Listening brings it's own rewards. At first the air changes. Literally. I can feel a tangible peace when someone listens and I listen back. The words that are spoken are absorbed. And still more goes on, we are expressing, "I am here", "I understand" and even "I love you" without having to say a word.

Time is so precious and one of our preconceptions is that we need to fill it to experience it; with speed, travel, music, parties. All of these things are extras, some of them wonderful extras but they cannot replace the gift of time, spent with someone, when you just listen.

Peace,

x

39 comments:

Deidra said...

Wow. A beautiful lesson you've shared in this post. Just about an hour before I read this, I saw a marquis outside a church which read: "We speak in first drafts. Editing required." Someone must be trying to tell me something. *smile*

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such wisdom to be found in listening. And often listening,
not advising, is all one needs to do.

Estelle said...

What a lovely bit of writing and thinking. I really loved the line about "pearls clattering down stairs".

Laurel said...

This is an astonishing post/ Speaking loud and clear. A God Shot for sure. It is something I need to hear and hear often. I am an interuptor. I get excited and I can be self centered. Oh those deadly charecter defects. I don't think I have ever seen it put in such a kind way. I heard you.
xxoo
Laurel

Laurel said...

Me again sorry-here is link to toodaloo.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/toodeloo/

Purple Flowers said...

Listening - a very powerful tool in life. True communication can only be accomplished when listening is at the forfront.

You have written a most beautiful post; one to savor, and reread again and again.

Soné said...

hi hun!
thanks for your sweet comment!
yah i love those crown of flowers! it all looks so prity! :)

Renee said...

Beautiful Clarity. I love how you have not only written this post but have set it up.

Love Renee xoxo

~ ennui ~ said...

Love this post...all of it!
Great blog ♥

butterfly said...

I'm much more of a listener, though mostly because most of my good friends are people who don't stop talking. Both are good in equal measure...its just trying to find that balance

Bonbon Oiseau said...

beautifully said--you are always so inspiring...

Jennifer said...

This is beautiful! I appreciate so much the idea about filling time with extras. I can't say how much the post has made me think about how I listen and how to perfect listening :)

Clarity said...

Deidra- you strike me as a listener :)
Pamela- indeed, the temptation to advise is there but not necessary
Estelle- thank you
Lauren- your unselfish heart tells otherwise, much thanks, x
Kathleen- I am touched by that.

It has been a long night and day prepping Films and everyone's drained. I was refreshed as soon as I saw your lovely words, you're all dears.

Jennifer - the sweetest compliment.

Vivian said...

Such a great post, and so true. I like the comparison you made between listening and giving. Both are so rewarding, and they feel so great. I always remind myself to listen more. And give more.

Thanks for your great, great comments on my posts!

Willoughby said...

What a lovely post!

Thank you for stopping my blog. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures of Lake Huron and, of course, the ice cream!

Cafe Fashionista said...

What a wonderful post. Personally, I feel that there is more to be said of someone who is a good listener than someone who is a good talker. I realize that there must be a balance between the two - but I find that a good listener is often more difficult to come by. :)

C.T. said...

Wow! I say: Brava! What a wise, true, inspiring, beautiful post...I need to and I will read this post more often. Verrrrrry good done, so THX, XXX, Carmie.

Penny Lane said...

great sentences. amazing meanings.
i agree with you, and with them. listening is always more important than talking. only when you listen you understand. it's made me think ^^

PL ♥

The Socialite said...

I say this on your every post but that's because I mean it: you write so lovely! I bet you would write up some lovely love letters! haha.

But I agree it's always so nice to simple listen to someone and truly understand them. We tend to bond that way a lot more. :)

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

HI CLARITY-


Yes, the art of listening.

Many people go out into the world to speak--and that is wonderful They forget to speak..

I friend of mine was recently learning to speak French. I told her, 'Yes, I spent many years learning to speak French, but no time learning to listen to French'...and listening is at least half the conversation. I can now listen--as well as speak.
Cheere.

Willow said...

I like the proverb about listening with two ears and speaking with one mouth. So true and I wish I would remember that better when I'm busy opening my mouth!

Thank you for stopping by Willow's Cottage and leaving a comment. I love meeting new people!

Oh, and I loved your photos of Morocco!

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

Great quotes and I definitely agree that there is a lost art of listening. All the great sages will tell you that a fool talks, while a wise man listens. Great post!

agnes said...

this is a very beautifully written piece.

I, myself never do good in this listening thing. I just keep talking a lot and usually ignores the others. But yes, I agree that listening is a real form of art, it calms the others(which i often benefit in). and I would definitely attempt to perfect it :)

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

What a lovely post...and how very very true♥x

Clarity said...

Renee(x), Ennui and Bonbon- Thank you and I'm continually pleased by your words and posts.
Cafe fashionista - they are harder to come by, but it's an easy habit to improve on.
Willow, Willoughby and CT- grazie, x, Laurel - thank you for the link, will check it out.
Penny L- a great compliment :)
Thank you Queen and Rebecca
Diane- wise words to "listen in another language", I'll have to think of that next time I travel.
Agnes - thank you, how lovely to hear those words, wishing you well in those efforts! x
Vanessa (Socialite) - you are sweet and I appreciate it. With regards to love letters, I've never had a reason to write one. I need a penpal perhaps as emails are not quite the same, x.

Lori ann said...

Dear Clarity,

I enjoyed this post so much, everything about it, your choice of quotes and your lovely words. I think one of the best compliments one person can say about another is that they are a good listener.

Even though I know what you mean, for me traveling always been a part of my life. An unending search to hear what the world has to say has humbled me in so many ways and I think to help me in being a better listener too. I am one small being on this big beautiful planet of ours.

Thank you for sharing this!

love,
lori

La Maison Fou said...

Great words...just now looked at the blog! Like the inspirational words.
Leslie

Anika said...

This is a gorgeous post, understated but wise in every sense. And the accompanying picture (the last image) is beyond surreal.

Here's to all of us being better listeners.

Clarity said...

Dear Lori, thank you deeply and I agree with your words, travel does expand our awareness, x.

Thanks Leslie :)

Anika - your words mean much, so thank you.
The picture (shot on film) is of the Starnberger See, Munich's gorgeous lake where I was taken on a surprise visit. Far off in the horizon are The Alps.

Honor Woodard said...

Clarity - Another wise, wonderful post. You are so full of grace.
Your post reminds me of a quote i've been carrying around for years...

"A discourse cannot be pleasant to the hearer that is not easie to the speaker; nor can it be easily pronounced unless it be heard with delight."

-Bernard Lam from Understanding Media

Mandarine D'Italie said...

Greatful.. this reading has reminded me that although I make a good listener for friends and family, I also need to listen to my inner-self, take some time to listen to that inner voice... forget about filling spare time with all sorts... just listen ...

Mishkat said...

Hi Clarity (fellow friend of Jennifer) - thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a really nice post. I completely agree that listening is an art - and I value people who are good at it.

And I'm glad you like the kitties (I didn't mean to have a cat blog - it just happened!)

mimi charmante said...

I love this post! I think that listening is a definite skill, as it doesn't come naturally to many. I used to volunteer on a Palliative ward and we went through intense training in many areas - listening being the most important in my opinion.
I do love to talk, but listening is where I gain so much, absorbing the best parts of people which for me is an incredible gift.
xo

TheDecoDetective said...

You write very well... I especially agree about our need to fill our time and life with all sorts of diversions to feel that we are alive.

Tracy said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting me, so nice to meet you and find your wonderful place in blogland. :o) This post full of wisdom and wonder really touched my heart. Many of your experience could echo my own. I can be both an observer and a good listener, but also feeling more comfortable with putting my voice and vision out there--must be confidence with age or something--LOL! Life is all about balance though, isn't it. And how sweet it is when we find that balance... I look forward to visiting here again. Happy Day :o)

Nicole said...

Great post! Sometimes a good listener is hard to find. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You have such a great place here.

Kotori said...

These are all fabulous quotes (and words I should heed myself plenty of times!).

Modern Crush said...

And when someone listens - they are truly caring enough about you to absorb the words you have offered to their ears. Beautiful. This really opens my mind to thinking about these things <3

Des said...

Outstanding post. I couldn't agree more. Listening coupled with quiet reflection makes for fantastic conversations and exchanges.