Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Henri J.M. Nouwen - "Bread for the Journey" - "A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith" March 11
"To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statement, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.
Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you."
Blogging - is it all about writing, reading, or does it have a lot to do with listening? With bravado, we declare at one time or another - "I write for myself, I care not that anyone reads my words!" Rubbish!
Seriously, don't we all yearn to know others are not only reading our words but are listening to us? Listening to what makes us happy, to what makes us angry, sad, distraught, thrilled....How many times do we pour out our words feeling they are not worth reading and sure enough that feeling is validated - there is no comment - there is sometimes a statistical counter telling us someone has "stopped by" - but goodness, were our words so lukewarm, so boring, so inconsequential, so useless to the reader that they quickly clicked to the next blogsite with no trace?
To requote Mr. Nouwen - "True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept." I would agree with Henri except that even the best of listeners gives the writer or speaker a nod of reassurance from time to time - don't they?
The great writers of the world (and I suppose the worst writers) pour out their souls in books, journals, memoirs describing those years of rejection, those years of no one listening.....
Writing for oneself may be fulfilling but tell me now, honestly, how long will you continue to blog if absolutely no one leaves a comment, how long can you survive in internet space without affirmation of some kind from your silent audience? Really, how long?
Photo - Sunrise Sister