11.23.2008

National Day of Listening

We're not traveling to Michigan for Thanksgiving -- even though that's been our tradition for most of our lives together. Most of my readers know that my father in law is battling terminal cancer. There's no appropriate or adequate way of writing a sentence that follows that one. Facing death as a family is an unnerving and difficult exercise.

That it is the definitive forming event of Thanksgiving doesn't make things simple either.

This weekend I found out that Storycorps is sponsoring a National Day of Listening. This sort of work is, it seems to me, some of the most important work we can do. And yet, for most of us, for many different reasons, it remains some of the work we're least likely to do.

I'm hoping that I'll get to spend a little time during Thanksgiving having Garry tell some of the stories from his life. It's a strange moment for him, though. His voice has always been one of his most distinctive features: his volume, his freedom, his accent and tone, his blustering confidence, his engaging boldness.

And now, when he talks very much...even more than a few sentences...he is wracked with painful, awful coughing.

So while I hope to spend some time listening to him, I promise I'm going to listen to the others around me during the holidays.

Will you listen and record someone too? (There are questions and a guide at the link above) Prioritize it above food or shopping because you know that it matters more.

1 comment:

Katie Zuercher said...

Thanks for posting this. It challenged me to be much more present in the conversations of the holiday weekend. Stories were told, lessons learned, and relationships strengthened.