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.

FROM 'TAKE THIS LIFE'

The Art of Listening Anne Tannam copy.mp Read by Anne Tannam
00:00 / 01:20
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