Listening and Change

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers I believe the opening of the book is the most important and telling part. (A village in Pennsylvania where people are very healthy and it’s not because of their diet.) That the people who are most healthiest are those who interact with other people.
What does interaction involve?
Speaking and listening in turn. Listening we take in the information that is shaped by the person sending it. By listening to the words and the way they are said we connect to the sender and as a result we change. If the words simply fall on deaf ears then there is no connection and no change.
To respond in such a way that we maintain the connection we can send out energy shaped by ourselves based on what the other person told us. We can shape the information based on the person we are sending it to.
As a result we converse, we connect, we change each other.
This change is deeper even than a healthy diet.
When we listen the person whom we are listening to can tell. It’s as if via walky talky someone responds by saying “Receiving you loud and clear.”
When we listen we change and the person who is talking can sense that change. It’s as if they are a battery and they are plugged into a circuit. All of a sudden they become part of a bigger meaning. They become meaningful to someone outside of ourselves. (And we become a part of that meaning also.)
And it all happens from something as simple as listening, as noticing. By noticing we benefit ourselves. We allow energy into ourselves. We allow the power to change within ourselves.

Watching Art and Becoming It

Art and Plumbing-You do art when you make change that matters, and do it via a connection with an individual. A great waitress or conductor or politician can make art. So can David, who cleans the tables at Dean and Deluca. Art isn’t the job, it’s the attitude you bring to the job and work you do when you’re there.

How do we become art, how do we do art?
in a chinese poem called ascending the stork pagoda, the first image is of the sun resting on the mountains exhausted after the end of a long day. In doing what it does the sun creates an image of beauty at the end of the day. And perhaps it can rest for awhile having enjoyed its labors so that it can continue the next day…
The next line is of river waters exhausting themselves into the sea. Again a long journey has been completed and once a part of the ocean, drops of water can evaporate to fall again on high to experience the river bed again.
In striving, exhausting themselves and in doing what they do the sun and the river become part of a beautiful scene. The mountains and ocean add to the beauty.
The poet then talks of himself wanting to see just a little bit more, to exhaust his eyes by seeing as far as he can see. And so he climbs one more set of stairs to the next level so he can see just a little bit farther still.
How do we become art, how do we become beautiful?
By being present in what we are doing whether it is climbing a set of stairs or painting chinese characters or doing a yoga pose or doing the dishes. We can also be present by focusing on who we are with.
We can also take part in art by observing the work of others as it is in progress.

white sun supported by mountains, exhausted
river into the sea flow,
straining eyes to see 1000 miles
go up one more story