My life is noisy, I surround myself with noise. Whenever I walk anywhere I plug the headphones in and listen to music, I have music on when I work, TV on when I go to sleep – I like noise! But do I actually listen?
My time of exploration continues, and today I was really challenged by the idea of listening. I have mentioned before that on my walk to work I listen to a daily devotional – pray as you go – and then listen to my MP3, but when I get to my destination could i tell you what the deptipnal was about? Or what songs I listened to? If I’m honest, 99% of the time – No! Because I’m not listening – in fact I think I’m hiding away from the world around me.
I think it all started when I was rather young and I ended up in hospital for 6 weeks lying on back with my arm in the air in traction after I fractured my arm just above the elbow after landing incorrectly at judo. Hospitals are noisy, every morning I awoke to ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ – still that song evokes harrowing memories! The best tng that came out of the broken arm was the long awaited arrival of the Walkman I had been asking for for ages – quite an extreme to go to I know but still! Along with the Walkman I received Narnia talking books, and my love affair started.
When I was studying for GCSEs, ALevels and even at uni, I would always have the magicians nephew or the lion the witch and the wardrobe in the background. People thought I was crazy (no comments please) but it actually helped me.
I also have a dvd playing as I go to sleep, but it has to be a dvd I know – a sure fire one would be dinner ladies!
The more I think about it the more I realise I’m blocking things out rather than listening to the noise. The reason I liked the chronicles of Narnia tapes and dinner ladies dvd is because I know them so well, I don’t need to pay attention, I don’t need to think, I just had it on the background. White noise I guess you might call it?
The problem with this is if you’re producing noise, you’re not actually listening, you might be missing out on something new and exciting.
So often when teaching, the names you learn quickest are the louder ones, it is easy to miss what is happening with the rest of the class. A conscious effort needs to be made.
Last week I wondered how much I missed by not looking, or paying attention. Today I wonder how much I’ve missed by not listening, by blocking out, not only the world, but also my own thoughts.
I’m going to put the headphones away, I’m going to use my time walking to and from work to think, to listen, to discover. Who knows what will happen!
I’m not sure I’m brave enough not to listen to music when running yet, although E has told me I’m braver than I think I am – not sure I believe her yet!
I’m taking away the noise in my life, I’m going to be quiet, I’m going to be contemplative! I’m going to be brave, brave enough to ask the questions, but most importantly brave enough to listen out for the answer.
As Bjork said… its oh so quiet