mum's rants

The Power of Listening to a Story

Thinking alot about helping and being and doing. I want to help people out of the depth of who I am not just the superficiality of what I can do. Especially if what I do has its main value in helping me feel better about myself.

Going to Christchurch after the earthquake was quite a shock to my system. Andrew did some important networking stuff but what did I DO! I looked for opportunities to shovel something or clean something but couldn’t find where to go. There was a shortage of skilled workers. More structural engineers to lead teams into areas where there might be someone trapped and clinging to life. What about the menial labour jobs.

I had this strange sense that people somehow resented outsiders coming in and doing these menial jobs. They kept telling teams of people, “don’t come”. Why? I am still processing this all but this is where I am now.

I think the Christchurch people may need those menial jobs themselves to heal. Standing side-by-side with someone who has seen their house shake like a tender leaf on a tree. Side-by-side with someone who has traded stability for chaos. Someone else with a shattered story. To pick up a shovel next to them would have been violating a holy space.

As I look back on our time there I think I know the best thing that I had done. Listen to stories. Stories of heroes and survivors. Listen until the focus goes off of me and my heroic efforts and over to where it should go, the one with the story.

By listening I  would validate and serve and witness. By listening I would reconnect people with their humanity. With their connection to their neighbour and their land. To place them in time and space and reality. To shift the focus to them. To lift them up. To applaud with my ears and my eyes and my heart.

In a world where fairness and reason and security seems in short supply. In a world where a new disaster comes in the shadow of the last. Perhaps there is some value in that.

We help where we can. We listen. We witness. We validate. We love. We walk in shadows.

mum's rants

Some Thoughts about fear

I have been thinking a lot lately but unable to formulate my thoughts into any flowing paragraph or post but my thoughts are hounding me, asking for a place to sit.

Here is such a place.

A place for my random thoughts.

Some require something of me but I am not sure what.

Others simply require a place to be.


I used to like old movies.

Doris Day etc.

They now disturb me.

Was I being manipulated into thinking being drunk was cute.

All was well with a man if he wanted to marry me – even if he was a jerk (pillow talk etc).

The accumulation of perfect clothes was great and to be taken for granted.

Do I want my girls filling their heads with such nonsense.

What are the new movies trying to show me?

Are the movies telling us where we have been, where we are or telling us where to go?

I just finished reading a disturbing book called “the other hand”.

It is a work of fiction based on fact about the detainment centres in U.K. and the effect of the oil industry on Nigeria.

Sounds a lot like what is going on in Burma with the oil industry.

Is the oil industry bad?

What about gold and rare gems?

Should I stop cooking with gas.

Should we be traveling the world gas free with horse and cart and wood for cooking.

That would make us even weirder.

Or if it wasn’t about the oil or gold or gems would it be about something else?

What can I do?

Lots of people will just zone out when they get too much info about pain and injustice in the world.

Does that make them shallow?

Or is that a coping mechanism?

Could you go crazy thinking about all the injustice in the world.

What about the Romany being kicked out of France.

Is it like the EU chief says, “This is a situation that I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War“.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the “EU article” is in the comments for it, that are now closed.

I have been hanging out with people I previously thought were full of drug addiction and dependent on the government.

My preconceived ideas were wrong.

Why are people scared of them?

Lots of people don’t want to think about sad things like this.

What is my role with difficult truth.

How should it affect the way I live my life?

I met someone who was afraid of raw chicken.

There are fast food restaurants everywhere in America but where are the grocery stores.

Are lots of people afraid of raw food and that is why they eat out at restaurants.

Is that why I can’t find a grocery store?

Is that part of the obesity problem – a fear of raw chicken driving people to fast food restaurants?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

How much has advertising and movies had a role to play in all this.

There are lots of people afraid of germs today.

Are we becoming a weak people.

So many of the women in movies are weird control freaks afraid of everything.

The moving, talking advertisements really disturb me.

So much advertising.

So much fear.

Is it a planned attempt to keep us tame?

So many people have excuses for not living life.

So much fear.

I met a man who’s 2 year old daughter has 75 pairs of shoes.


Is that why I can find lots of clothes stores and car lots and no grocery stores.

Is our fear misplaced?

Are we being taught to fear the needy?

As far as how to apply these in my own life.

These questions will need to linger as questions for now as I don’t know how to answer them in a way that makes sense.

I refuse to diminish them by answering them too quickly.

Am I asking the right questions?