Raven 87: Hearing

I had an elementary school teacher -- several probably -- who said, "Don't just hear, LISTEN!" She meant for us to pay focused attention to her words and their meaning. If your elementary teachers were like mine, you grew up valuing listening and devaluing hearing.

Raven takes the opposite approach. She distinguishes hearing from listening in pretty much the same way my elementary school teachers did -- but Raven draws a different moral from that distinction. What do you think?

Raven took her perch and said, "Things just come in. Do you listen, or do you hear? When you listen, you are paying attention to something out there, but when you hear, the sounds just come in. You are sitting there with your ears open, and the dove calls out. That sound defines you. Once you are defined like that, the cedars can define you, the faraway skunk can define you."
Woodpecker asked, "Is that realization?"
Raven said, "Let yourself hear the dove."
Let yourself hear the dove
Let your mouth eat
Let your fingers read my face
Let your feet count the blessings of toes
Let your ribs hold galaxies
Let your tongue perceive the silence
   inside its words
Let your fears embrace the frightened
Let your house slide on shifting sand
Let the stones be igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
   and all yours
Let rivers flow through your veins unto the sea
Let yourself smell the sunrise
   and taste the sunset
Let yourself love
Let yourself hear the dove
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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