I began to write this poem after a long and tiring week. Sometimes, when I step back from the visceral nature of my emotions, postive and negative, I find a kernel to prompt writing, thinking, and acting.
Too often, I find myself talking when I should be listening. This includes listening to me, and, more importantly, listening to those whose stories are silenced in unjust ways. I think those two forms of listening go hand-in-hand. Not listening to others is often a product of being so busy with the noise of my own life. When I listen from the heart, I hear words anew.
Rich stories silenced–
Seeking just spaces,
Sharing and healing;
To speak freely.
Sadly, stories unheard,
Of being oppressed;
Shunted to the margins.
Listening with heart–
Leaning into stories,
With grace and humility,
Hearing for the first time.
Am I ready to act?
But, without doing;
I listen to the blues, gospel, and jazz most of my life. When it comes to the blues, gospel, and jazz music I am aware of the privilege I experience and do not take it for granted. As a Canadian, I attended concerts, because African-American performers came to Canada. They had access to venues I could attend here that they did not have in their own country.
Today, I heard Mavis Staples (on her latest album) singing and it resonated. For real and just change to emerge, I must be willing to listen and change the things I can. When I listen to the blues and gospel music, particularlyperformed by African-American women, there is an undercurrent for meaningful and just change in the world.
…and listening is hard work…and music fills our souls…compose a beautiful day Ivon ☺️💫 smiles hedy
And, listening to hear is even harder work. Take care and stay well Hedy.
Yes hard work indeed…all good here ☺️🙏 take care too Ivon
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
Thank you Jonathan
Ivon, we were on the same wavelength, I used the same song in my post today, after a tiring and complicated week. That song always lifts me up and elevates my mood. All my best, C
There is something about Blues and Gospel music that soothes the soul, particularly when women sing the songs. I find the music and songs of African-American women, contemporary and earlier, is more hopeful or speaks to the truth of oppression in a different way.
They sing from lived experience and it rings true! Resilience as a virtue, C
I live in a society that is rife with institutionalized oppression.
History is repeating itself here in America and people are not listening. Not remembering.
There is an apathetic mindset that I have no power.
But we all have power.
We all have a voice.
If enough of us sing together we will be heard.
We have to change.
Change starts with opening our ears to listen.
Thank you for your posts.
They ring true.
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Thank you for the share David.