A Table Made of Listening–Poem featured on Turning Toward Life

by rosemerryt@gmail.com


In every conversation
there is a table made of listening.
Sometimes the tables are beautiful,
solid, clean—the kind
that can support anything
you put on them.
Sometimes, they’re like
the tv dinner trays
of my childhood—
a little rickety, but they’ll do
if what’s put on them is light.
Sometimes they’re so cluttered
that whatever’s placed on their surface
is almost immediately lost.
Let tonight’s table have a small vase of flowers
and a candle perhaps, nothing else.
May it be small enough we might
see each other’s eyes, might notice
every nuance of breath. Whomever
I am most nervous to invite,
may I invite them. And though
the tea is just a metaphor,
may I offer. May they accept.

Lizzie & Justin write: Listening deeply, lovingly and fearlessly to one another is among the most nourishing and life-giving practices we humans can take up, and yet many of us have few places in our lives where we regularly do this. Perhaps that’s because laying out a ‘table made of listening’ for one another, one that is open enough and solid enough and safe enough, calls on us to welcome parts of ourselves and others that we often push away. It turns out that the practice of listening to one another, difficult as it may be to start with, cultivates exactly the kind of welcome of ourselves that allows us to be a welcome to others. And that this is something deeply needed in the world and in our lives right now. This episode of Turning Towards Life is a conversation about conversation, hosted as always by Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

Click here to see the video on Thirdspace.