Poetry Of Listening

Posted by Avni V on Jul 3, 2019
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Many wise individuals that have crossed my path who are great listeners have exclaimed that they are the receiver of ample wisdom through this process of making space.

There is as Nirupa Aunty said (maybe not in these exact words...) this underlying challenge where we are no longer able to share our beings and we are maybe shy about it. Perhaps we are protective of ourselves and thus usually indulge in more day to day surface level exchanges.

In essence, we don't want to burden others with what is true for us, we have forgotten the true reason for friendship and connection.

The art of communication through storytelling in community has began to dwindle, and yet from what I see, from ServiceSpace to venues like the Moth, we crave it full throttle. There is desire to hear stories of (and be in tune with) community, to both be in awe of the unexpected and in patience with the continuous hurdles that this beautiful life provides us with.

This past weekend, I took on a vulnerable experience of the unknown by asking others to share their stories with me, to collaborate in art.

For each story shared, I offered to turn it into a poem. I didn't know what would happen, I've never written in that (in the moment) format before, but I hoped in the universe that the poetry would come (and there were so many supporting voices), and the magic would happen. I'm so beyond words grateful for having gained small glimpses of connection, with so many and their stories, that maybe they have shared with many, or maybe with no one.

I also found a view into the great joy of the ability to just listen without expectation to gain of wisdom or the searching of how to continue the conversation.

Here are some of the stories I was gifted with:
  • The challenges of putting teachers on a pedestal, in order to fill a gap of feeling like enough on their own.
  • The great joy of having a teacher that one will never forget. The teacher, like many, never knowing the profound difference she'd made in their life.
  • The story of how a couple fell in love, the challenges they faced at that time, and now how they collaborate in spirit around the country.
  • Figuring out one's future in conjunction with their desire to enjoy everything that the world has to offer.
  • The complications of service, the importance of giving, but also being in alignment with ones values, and the struggles that come with it.
  • The ability to not be seen as just where one is from, but from a space of who one is.

The ability to just be and share, without apologizing, in the spirit of collaboration is (in my humble opinion) pretty magical.

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Comments (2)

  • Rajalakshmi Sriram wrote ...

    lovely idea

  • Chris Johnnidis wrote ...

    Awesome, Avni! I loved participating in the "story for a poem" booth--such a sweet gift you offered, to listen and reflect back creatively. Hope you get to keep practicing.