And where do they take you?
I wish I had always known how to listen to my own.
Several times this weekend I crossed paths with art that struggled to be birthed amidst others’ voices. It is a common human dilemma. And it makes my heart ache because I know the turmoil all too well.
What voices do you listen to? I really want to know.
Who’s talking to your head and heart and telling you to be more of something else? Practical. Wise. Better.
I have spent years of my life listening to the voices of my (different than I) mother, men I’ve loved and been rejected by, and religion, mainly the Bible, my tradition’s sacred Scripture as interpreted by others. I want to tell you a secret. On my own, I have not opened a Bible in years. If you want to know why, ask me. I’d be honored to talk about it.
Side note: I recently read of an artistic practice that might help me open a Bible again someday from a friend who understands and is learning to listen a new way:
Listen to the voices. Let others, like me, help you. What happens to your heart when you hear them? Do they make you laugh or cry? Do you feel freer or trapped? Why are you scared? What in your life shows you are doing all you can to push them away?
I watched “A River Runs Through It” again this weekend. I’ve seen it a half-dozen times and was watching it virtually with one of my Story Sisters. I messaged her. “I have watched this movie so many times and still ask what drives Paul to push the envelope so hard.”
The movie is a based on a memoir of two brothers, homeschooled by their Presbyterian minister father in the early 1900s. They grow up in Missoula, Montana.
“In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ’s disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”
— Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)
The movie makes me cry every time. When I asked my friend the question, she answered, “The need to feel free and in control of his own destiny and life?”
And I responded, “Or it takes so much to drown the heavy voices.”
Two brothers. One learns to live despite the voices. One does all he can to ignore them. Guess which one it works out better for?
Oh, dear friends. I long for us to know our own voices. Including the ones that haunt us, talk to us, and lead us to where we might not be meant to go.
Listen to your heart. It’s okay. You’re safe there. I promise.
What voices do you listen to the most? Do you believe it’s okay to listen to your own heart? Why or why not? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or through an email to me.