Many people come to see me. When they leave they often tell me “It was helpful just to be able to tell my story. To say things I’ve never been able to say to anyone before.” I’m always pleased to hear this but I wonder what they think I do. There seems to be an idea that all we do as listeners is just that. We listen. In which case why come and talk t us? Why not talk to a pet? Or a rock? Or a tree? These are all capable of listening and of being discrete. (Although some trees can be terrible gossips! I’m always very cautious about what i say around some trees.) When someone comes to me and tells their story I listen. Of course I do. But I listen in a very particular kind of way. I listen in the same way that I listen to the wind. Which way is it blowing? What usually follows behind this wind? What precedes it? What might the wind be hiding? Sometimes I simply note that today the wind is blowing from the West. Or that it is unusual today in that the wind is from the North when usually it comes from the South. If I wait it usually becomes apparent why the wind is blowing from any direction. So I sit and listen to the wind in my cave. When there’s a space I might comment on the wind to my visitor.I’ll invite them to listen to the wind with me. Then we can both think about why this might matter and what it might signify for both of us.
Sometimes my visitors are taken aback “I thought the wind was from the South. But you’re right. It from the East. How strange. I’d always thought that wind was Northern. I wonder how I came to think that?” So the story continues. Who told them that this wind was from the North? Why do they think this might have arisen? What might happen next? How does it feel for them that I, a dragon, am challenging something they’ve long believed? With care and gentleness, we make sense of the stories. “If I’ve been wrong about the wind, what else might I be wrong about?” is a question that often follows. And so the journey continues until we find a foundation which is solid.One of your writers suggested that when we shake everything that can be shaken, what’s left standing is God. Or the Ground of our Being. Then the work of re-construction can begin and something new gets built.
And all this comes from just talking. And, being heard. (And listening to the wind…)