December 10, 2020

Among the many outlets in which I have taken refuge over these past several months is the podcast MEDITATIVE STORY which combines rich personal tales in the foreground with lush soundscapes in the back. Tucked in among the storytelling are one or two meditation prompts. As the podcast's personally narrated stories unfold, they extend to the listener a swift unwind, taking you right back to being read to as a child. Cannot recommend it enough!

In a recent episode, entitled A Cowboy's Rule for Listening, the poet Waddie Mitchell speaks straight from the heart of growing up on his father’s ranch in Elko, Nevada. We hear how as a young boy he watches the cowboys around him (or buckaroos) with awe, silently absorbing their stories and manners. From that deep listening he masters how to shoe a horse, start a colt, lead a crew and tell a tale. Through the buckaroos he learns that adventure and freedom aren’t things to seek elsewhere.

Throughout Waddie's storytelling he makes sacred the act of listening, impressing it as a privilege to be enjoyed. His mastery of taking slow, deep notice clearly have everything to do with his power of story and its telling. As he crafts his account, he is absolutely in and of himself, not any other person. Without consideration or distraction of extraneous factors, h
e is right there - in the raw materials of his life. 

As I took in Waddie Mitchell's quiet imagery of the sounds and smells and routines of his rather ordinary ranch life. I was reminded of the goods we have right here before us in every moment and how in seizing that bounty we make the pictures and the poems that only we can make. His story didn't capture my attention with glamor and intricate language, but rather by a poetry that he was able to patch together in the simple act of planting himself fully and sharing that experience's unfiltered essence.

I get to listen...

Creatively, we plot and we study and we calculate... and, these efforts at times do have their merits. But what if we just got back to listening and observing, and learning that way? Isn't it true that, time and time again, when we pause all of the striving and just come back home to ourselves, observing the nature of things as they are, that's when the real magic happens?


Gift yourself a 20 minute exhale and enjoy (freely) Waddie Mitchell's Meditative Story through this link...


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