I’m catching on to why it’s so unsettling to be in the presence of chatty elderly women. Its because I like to do and there is nothing to be done beyond my presence. In my discomfort I default to what is most familiar: silence, and listening.
Here is the problem. When you’re dealing with someone who is a good listener, they wait. A good listener doesn’t try to alter what it is you’re thinking, or bring their personal bias into your words. It is in their waiting that you have to keep going, sharing and revealing to fill the silence of preconception.
And then it’s all out.
As from the confessional, not knowing yet what to do with what was revealed, I bow my head in prayer. I have heard on many levels what the elderly have shared.
On the feast of St. Hildegard, September 17, let us all pray to be attentive to those who come to us to be heard, and not just listened to.
Copyright 2017 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB