The Work Of Listening: To Keep The Song That Comes Out Of Nowhere Alive …

We forever drift in and out of the miracle before us. As our eyes dilate and constrict in order to see, we are opened by love, wonder, and truth into the immediacy of all that is incomprehensible, only to wrestle with pain, loss, and obstacles that make us constrict. And during the wrestle, the miracle of life seems out of reach. Though once enduring what we’re given, pain and loss open us further. This is how the human heart sees …

Consider how some days we wander into a wash of birdsong and are filled with the quiet music of the Universe. But no matter how we linger, the birdsong fades and we must enter our day. Other days, the birds seem to come out of nowhere, from behind buildings or under bridges, and their song covers us with an invisible mist that reminds us: life is so much more than the machinery of our tasks. But they swoop on, taking their sweet medicine with them. Either way, we are refreshed and left with the work of listening: to keep the song that comes out of nowhere alive in what we do, wherever life leads us.

Truth often appears to us like the song of these birds. We wander into a wash of it and, no matter how we linger, it fades. On other days, truth seems to come out of nowhere to remind us how rare it is to be here at all. Then off it goes with its refreshing medicine and we are left with the work of keeping the song of truth alive in the days that remain. This lifelong conversation with love, wonder, and truth in counterpoint with pain, loss, and obstacles is how we dilate and constrict our way into the essence of our aliveness.

— Mark Nepo from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred

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