Free Listening

Yesterday I took my ‘free listening’ sign down to the park. I sat on a bench by the lake and sewed patches on my little yellow dress, and waited. I never got to finish my tiny sewing job cause so many people needed listening. Strangers would come up and ask, “Free listening? What exactly does that mean?” And I told them, “I shall listen to anything anyone wants to say.” And I did. I listened about warehouses, and coffee, and Michael Jackson, and Aliens. I listened about Germany, and New Orleans, and travel, and missing. I listened about lost fathers, and bravery, and cancer deep inside bones. I listened about tunnels, and skyscrapers, and exploring, and water. But mostly I listened to how hard it is to be listened to. How it becomes harder and harder to say anything when no one will really hear it. How people become stuck in their lonely cars and their white screens and they don’t even notice. After many hours the sun went down and people were sitting on the lawn around the bench, talking about how they were going to make their own ‘free listening’ signs and take them all about the city. I listened about how excited people were now, to go out and really listen for themselves. It was rather incredible really. I felt like Forrest Gump.

Now, I’m gonna carry my little red sign around for the rest of my life.

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~ by warpaintandwandering on August 27, 2010.

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