Thursday, February 26, 2009
This week, I received this award from my dear friend, Arlene, at Grey Horse Matters. I have to admit that at first, I looked at it and thought it was kind of weird. It wasn’t hearts and flowers and cute and charming. It was an ear. It came with this explanation:
“The Van Gogh's Ear Award is for blogs that are making a difference in the blogosphere. Its creator said, "We are all artists in our own way, be it art, photography, writing, philosophy, comedy, or blogging, and we all go a little crazy sometimes. But if you ever feel so crazy to cut off your ear and give it to a prostitute, "Seek Help"! Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else."
Now, I can promise you that I’d never consider cutting off my ear and giving it to a prostitute, and I am certain that none of the bloggers who receive this award from me would ever think of doing that either. But I do appreciate the significance of the ear as a symbol of our ability to listen to each other and support what others have to say.
I’ve been teaching a new phrase to Siete. She’s been quite grumpy recently, as so many of us have been. Her reaction is to pin her ears back in protest. One of Carolyn Resnick’s suggestions is to say, “Ears up!” and wait to give the horse a treat until she perks her ears towards you to indicate that she is listening. It took me a long time to realize the importance of learning to listen well. I like to tell stories, so for many years, I spent a great deal of time noting what was happening to me or to others, and then talking or writing about it. It was only as I got older that I understood how important it is to simple listen and keep your mouth shut.
Raising my daughter, I constantly remember something that an old friend of mine once told me. Her son was having a lot of troubles in his life, and when he would tell her what was happening, she would try to give him advice. She said that finally she figured out that what he really needed was for her to just walk along beside him and listen. Ever since I heard that, I’ve tried to spend more time listening and less time talking.
So, while there are many blogs that make me go, “Ears up!”, I’d like to pass this award on to the following ones:
The Dog House
Oak in the Seed