The Creative Art of Listening

Photo: Peggy Stander

This is Tania Ahlfeldt and we’re talking creative listening.

Do Women listen better than men?
Brenda Ueland famed writer and teacher had some interesting
things to say on the subject.
She felt that women have the listening faculty more than men,
this not being the fault of men as they lost it because of their
long habit of striving in business and to be self-assertive.
The more forceful men are, wrote Brenda the less they can listen
as they grow older.

This non-listening of able men was to her one of one of the saddest things in the world.
In it she saw the loneliness of fathers,
those quietly sad men who move along with their grown children like remote ghosts.
When her father was over 70, he was a fiery and humorous,
a man of great force.
But he was deep in the loneliness of old age and another generation.
Even though he was fond of her she felt he could not hear her –
not one word she said.
She was just audience.
She would walk around the lake with him on a beautiful afternoon
and he would talk prolifically, but there was a feeling of helplessness because he could not hear what she had to say.
She felt she was  in a kind of despair
that he could not hear her.
Years later her heart still ached at her father’s loneliness.
Such a wonderful man, who did reach out to her, and wanted to know her!
But he could not, for he could not listen.

Who are you not listening to?
Who in your inner circle needs your creative ear?
Is it your father?
Is it your child?
Would your loneliness be lifted if you listened more?

This is Tania Ahlfeldt exploring the possibilities that lie before us when we choose to listen.

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