Perspective changes things. I often gaze up into the brilliant sky, eyes squinting against the brightness, a Red-Tail Hawk circling above. What does she see? How does it view my small van driving along? Hand over hand, rough trail scraping my legs, how would the world look from atop one of the many rock cliffs around me? How about at ground level? My farm cats perspective, slinking around wood posts all whiskery, and under muddy vehicles. I get so stuck in my own perceptions and it really is an effort to rise up out of myself, floating over, hovering ghost-like into completely different points of view, different lives, and seeing through someone else’s eyes.
This is one of the things I love about this literature lifestyle my children and I are stumbling along through, trying, grasping, reaching for understanding others in a meaningful way. Entering into the suffering of others. Rejoicing with those who rejoice. The truth is this life is not about you or me. It’s about all of us together. Others. Relationships. The relationships between our faith, the world, its tangible earth sifting between my fingers, and its intangible wisp of ideologies, and those other souls all around us. Stories, books, maps, and languages, music, poetry and so much more give us a teeny slice of someone else’s take on it all. A challenge to just listen to what all these voices are saying and not need to respond except with a simple nod and, “Thank you for sharing.” Basically, the antithesis of our society and social media platforms. I’m learning that listening is very powerful indeed. It’s humbling, it’s hard, and no, we don’t get our opinions out there. But, we gain the invaluable gift of perspective. The sound of a bubbling creek, the deep heart of a friend in need, and the biggest gift of a break from self.
Praying for a heart willing to listen truly and deeply.