the cadence of listening


Light cannot be seen without shade.

Shade cannot be seen without light.

By moonlight, we see in black and white. We cannot

see colors. There is something fascinating and

valuable about seeing the world that way. We see

only what is essential. We can look at the world so

familiar by daylight and see it anew in the black and white of moonlight.

You see yin and yang.

The day warms, the night cools. The sun moves over a

hill, changing the face from brightness to shadow.

Stand in the middle of a forest and watch all the

shadows and sunlight shift second by second.

You see yin and yang.

~Deng Ming-Dao

look up into the splendor of the trees, hear the rustling wind of all that is being shifted to the past, and return to your simple story…..

inquiry for today~   imbibe your story with all the many layers…..the ones real and the ones imagined….somewhere your truth will be found….

how our stories come alive

To find the nourishment that resides in stories, we have to allow ourselves to listen. The world is full of joyous messages. The surrounding landscape is radiantly alive. Just as Agassiz used to ask his students to draw and redraw the same dried fish, and the monks practices lecito divina, reading and rereading the same short piece of scripture, so we too can learn to push past boredom and familiarity to a brand-new place of freshness and discovery. The Russians have a term, “ostranyenie,” which may be useful here. Often translated as defamiliarization or estrangement, this word, invented by the critic Viktor Shklovsky, means, literally, “to look at the familiar and have it become strange again.” That “becoming strange” is what we need to learn, both in terms of listening, and of telling stories. A darkened lawn, a shimmering patch of sky; a universe of stories, the story of the universe.

~Christian McEwen

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