In many ways we are in an extended winter with this COVID. That being true, how and what do we listen to in this extended winter? What as writers is coming up for us to follow in our listening? . . .
The Winter of Listening by David Whyte
No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.
All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
round every living thing.
What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
What we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
What we hate
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.
All those years
listening to those
nothing to say.
All those years
has its own voice
All those years
you can belong
simply by listening.
And the slow
is born from
Silence and winter
has led me to that
So let this winter
for the new life
I must call my own.
Here are some writing prompts taken from the Wednesday Night with the Yogi & the Writer:
Listening – Everything and everyone wants to be known through a listening, through attention. Listening is always conversational. And uses the whole body. Not just the ears. Listening takes place from the physical and energy body.
We feel our belonging through our listening, through our conversations with all and anything that arises or comes into our circle of life ---
Being present is conversational – is listening.
Every sense is a listening sense. Consider listening to your food as you eat it, taste it. Using all your senses and intuition, listen.
Learning how to listen to ourselves (thoughts, feelings/emotions, wants,) and the other --- tree, dogs, people, moments, histories, our pain, other's pain stories, strangers and loved ones, brings us our lives. . . Is the path of belonging. Is the writer's and yogi's path.
Try this: Ask yourself (and if you choose take notes in your writer's field note book):
1.What am I thinking? Listen . . .
2. What am I feeling/emotions/physical sensation/energy? Listen . . .
3. What do we want? Listen . . .
Listen with the whole body. Don't go on a hunt for responses. Just listen and notice.
More writing prompts to encourage listening:
Make a list of pivotal moments that are part of a project or something you want to explore or write about. Name the subject or topic first. I am exploring the subject of past relationships and endings. So I will do a list of pivotal moments related to that subject and theme.
First just write the moment down. Listen to it by describing it in detail – use the sensations and scenery.
Then, write about what you might have or did miss in it. What is missing in this pivotal moment? Write about that!
Finally, create a fictional piece where you bring in the missing piece/element. Let the prompts take you where it does, no rules.
Next First Wednesday in September of the Yogi & the Writer will be on: Following our listening. Join us! Sign up by sending me an email: email@example.com (PS: It's free).
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All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material to explore & write about. Here, the spiritual path meets up with the writer's path. Read the All Write Wednesdays posts.
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I live in Mount Horeb WI where I walk (snow shoe in the winter) my dogs through Stewart Park, garden my corner lot, wear a mask in public (and a cape at night). I love to write & connect to writers. My book The Zero Point Agreement is my latest of ten. I do love to write! My up coming book: the Clue of the Red Thread: Discovering Fearlessness & Compassion in uncertain times comes out this January 26th, 2021 through Shanti Arts, Nine Rivers Imprint.