Learning to Listen

"Thanks for listening."
I wish she would call.

I've heard those words so many times. Friends and strangers have come to me with their happinesses, their sadnesses, and their secrets. I've felt fortunate. I've been close, I've touched. People have trusted in me, trusted in my abilities to understand and to sympathize and even to advise.

If you ask me what I'm good at, I might say, "Listening." You might agree.

But, sometimes, I don't know.

I received thoughtful and sundry comments to this entry. Monty wrote:

I think you are going to have to listen to a lot of different kinds of music and play with speaker positioning a little to reach some conclusions.

While Buddha advised:

I'd say the place to start is listening to the same recording, and focusing your attention on just one instrument or voice and getting a feel for what each speaker delivers.

Clay differed:

Or you could decide to let the business of making informative evaluations of components wait awhile, continue to do for a living what you do very well, and settle on the speaker which you like the best and appreciate the way it delivers your favorite music to you.

Al consoled:

You just tell us what seems to happen. It is OK if you don't understand, neither does anyone else.

And Christian imparted:

I would use a SPL meter to make sure that you are comparing both pairs at the same volume level. Our interpretations can get skewed towards the louder speaker, not neccessarily the better speaker.

These are very caring and insightful recommendations. Thank you.

Right now, I'm waiting for a phone call. My eyes sneak over, every now and then, to the telephone, thinking that it might ring if I pay more attention. I'm waiting for a call from someone who will listen, someone who will help me understand some things that have eluded me. We'll schedule times, and we'll talk. I suppose that's how it works.

And he tells me that he's glad I'm going through this. Not that he'd ever want me to feel any pain, but that I have to sit with these feelings in order to understand them. And I'm very interested in understanding them in order to control them.

I'm in pain, and I want to learn to deal with this pain. If I can see that lightswitch as it begins to drop, maybe I'll become strong enough to slow it down, and maybe I'll become fast enough to stop it.

And she asked me to do something about the lighting. I want you to know that I've been listening with the lights on. They are very bright. I'm going to change that. I'm going to soften the lights. For her. For me. For us. I'm going to listen with the lights turned low. The lights turned low. I keep catching all the lights as though they were fireflies or the flu.

I don't do drugs, aside from coffee in the morning. But I do all of my serious listening at night, so the coffee shouldn't be an issue.

If I learn to listen — as I learn to listen — I will record my daily observations like I'm keeping track of the money I spend. I'll revisit these perceptions day after day, forming a map of sorts and looking to find my way into your heart. Y cuando levante mis ojos a tu nombre, tu corazon de pronto dispuso mi camino.

I'll follow the italics and experiment with cables. I'll be patient. I won't make hasty judgements. I'll study the ambient noise that lives within my room; I hear she wears a mask. I'll unmask her. I'll examine the differences between system noise and mechanical noise; my refrigerator is wildly aggressive. It sizzles and roars. I'll learn to trust myself and you, in turn, will trust me. I'll thank you so much, and I'll let you know how it goes.

The phone is ringing.
"Is this a good time to talk?"

Monty's picture

My first wife ran off with my best friend.
I sure do miss him.

Clay White's picture

We already trust you.

Christian's picture

Reading the last passage, it occured to me that you probably already have the best medium in your blog. You're able to revisit first impressions and see if they still hold as you progress. You keep listening, I'll keep reading.

Kulak's picture

Pain is just the feeling of fear leaving the body.FWIW, the Arros' are my all time favorite speaker.Cheers