The Art of Listening
I’m not talking about a half-hearted
following the words but not the meaning
type of listening, that uses only one ear
And the occasional Oh, I see.
That type of listening you come across
every day of the week.
No, what I’m singing my hymn of praise to
Is a higher form of communication altogether.
I’m talking about employing all the tools at our disposal:
two ears, two eyes, the heart, the gut,
that place inside where compassion and empathy lie.
I’m talking about a whole body receptor
tuning into what the speaker is saying,
not just to their voice but to the silence
when they pause to search for a word,
their eyes and body speaking
eloquently on their behalf.
Someone takes the risk of releasing the truth
of who they are into the care of another
and miracle of miracles, the other reaches out
with both hands,cradles that truth, blesses it with acceptance, enfolds it in acknowledgement
and tenderly gives it back into the care of the one
who gave it life.
Now, that type of listening is rare.
It's an art form, a sculptured moment of connection
inviting us to come inside and be astonished
at what the heart can hold.