What do I hear and what do I miss?
In his novel Invisible Cities,* Italo Carvino has Kublai Khan asking Marco Polo, “When you return to the West, will you repeat to your people the same tales you tell me?”
‘”I speak and speak,” Marco replies, “but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. … It is not the voice that commands the story, it is the ear.”‘
The Khan speaks again, “At times I feel your voice is reaching me from far away, while I am prisoner of a gaudy and unlovable present, where all forms of human society have reached an extreme of their cycle and there is no imagining what new forms they may assume.”
Your life is whispering you a story.
Your life – your skills and dreams and energies and experiences – is quite something. Perhaps, though, what all your life means can be too tiny a whisper amongst the great big noises which make up your world.
The thought, the dream, the feeling will not go away, though.
You hold the possibility, what lies within you is greater, more signifiant than what lies without. Your heart, your spirit, your strength, your self is so much more than the names and roles and objects and possessions which some believe signify you.
Perhaps, to hear the whispers better, you need to move – now.
Read something recommended by a friend: listen for the whispers.
What are your most important values? Write them down. If you could give expression to each of these, what would you be doing? Who would you bedding this for.
Find a space to go to and be quiet and listen – every day, if possible.
Share with someone how you’re feeling.
Find an community exploring the things which interest you.
Identify someone to serve or encourage or just get to know, in the new week.
Have you got a word you can’t get out of your head? (Or a picture?) What kind of word is it? Noun, adjective, verb? Where might this word lead you?
Go to a place you’ve never been before and without a map, follow your nose,** or the sounds of the city, to experience the city and hear what it may be whispering.
These are just a few things you can do to move. One small step will change things. Many small steps will change our lives.
But you cannot hear the whispers very well where you are.
You need to move. Use anything you can to move.
(*In this novel, Italo Carvino has Marco Polo describing many cities he’s visited to Kublai Khan – the cities are one: Venice.)
(**I read about someone who does explore cities by following his nose.)