I would love to hear the sounds roots make as they are growing…reaching into soil, curling around rock, piercing into leaf and loam. Surely it makes a sound, however infinitesimal, this growing, this slow foraging for nourishment and sustenance. Is there a moan or howl as the slimy slender roots move deeper and spread farther?
I would also love to hear a flower bud and blossom. Surely this too gives off something to be heard if we put a microphone to it. Perhaps there’s a crackle or pop as the first petals burst forth. Maybe a rustle and a flutter as they all unfurl and jockey for their final position of glory.
In the aftermath of surgery, I always find myself in a quandary. I imagine this is true following any upheaval or loss in one’s life. You’ve worked through the initial parts of healing and recovery only to find yourself scratching your head and wondering…
What has happened?
How did I get here?
What does it mean moving forward?
It’s a space for listening. A filtered listening, a deeper listening. I’m not interested in the typical stuff I might tell myself–“OK Jen, let’s get on with the show.” or “Everything’s gonna work out,” “Leave it in the past”, or the ever popular “Let it go, Let it go!”
I’m wanting to hear what’s true about all I’ve been through, it’s purpose and meaning and what it means for the future. I’m wanting to “tink” back the already knitted up fabric to see just how it all went down (or came together) and in so doing, see if I can make sense of what it was and where’s it’s going. I’m not convinced this is even possible…it may be a fool’s errand.
My mom assures me that growth is happening. I listen intently to this woman’s voice on the other end of the line. She who has endured the loss of both her parents to horrendous events. She who has endured metasticized melanoma, ovarian and breast cancers, and who, as I’m listening, is experiencing the pain of shingles.
What she tells me is that I cannot see the growing now. Though underground, teeming life is afoot, and has been, in and through the illness and each of the three surgeries. I just can’t see it now, she says. I may see snippets of it in the future, I may not. We rarely ever see roots doing what they were meant to do. I might see a blossom or two in the coming years. But I can know and trust that growth is happening…
So I’m (s)training my ears to hear it.
I listen as I draw. I listen as I knit. I listen when I walk.
How do you listen?
**Note: “tink” is a knitting term meaning to unknit each stitch, one at a time, to get back to a certain point in the knitted fabric.