Posted by: MC | December 3, 2012

Birdsong in Oregon and VOICES FROM DECATUR

118 Decatur Courthouse, 3-2009 mmc

Here we are in December – already.  Here we are nearing another turn of season; this time to winter.  I’ve been noticing how the calls of birds really do become less present as the days shorten and the weather cools.

Maybe it’s an effect of spending the last four years listening to what everyday people have to say.  It’s for sure not boredom or lack of distraction.  But here’s what noticing the infrequency of birdsong has done for me – I’ve started listening more closely there, too.

When I catch myself in busy brain – you know, the churning rumination or rehearsal that stirs the gray matter into tight and noisy scrambles – the incessant thought stream that we seem to believe will somehow serve – what? – to protect us, absolve us, control something?  When I catch myself in that, I’m lately stopping to see if I can hear a bird chirp.

Crow calls are more common, so while I have an increasing affection for Crows (another story) those don’t count.  I listen.  Sometimes for minutes at a time.  Then I hear a single voice singing softly from a bush full of berries, or the muffled chit chat of a small cluster of perching birds in nearly bare branches of a Silver Maple.  I smile on the inside – maybe on the outside, too.  I listen a while longer until the seduction of the thought stream takes stealthy and habitual hold again.  Who knows how long before I notice that has happened, stop, and listen again.

I like that listening is my principal teacher these days.  I’m finding its curriculum to be both practical and surprisingly mysterious.  The biggest rewards are the learning, the friendship and the steady inspiration into what feels like the truest of optimism.

Last Monday I met Alex, the producer of the podcast series, at the Pagatim studios to record the next chapters.  Here’s the newest addition – VOICES FROM DECATUR.

Of course, I hope you’ll listen.  I hope you’ll be inspired and informed, and I hope you’ll feel friendly toward these voices from this small city in Georgia.  The recordings Alex chose include two business men in their 30’s, two auto service workers, and the town’s mayor.  That’s what I especially love about these productions – you can hear the actual voices.

So, like I said, I hope you’ll listen and enjoy.  But more than that, I’m really hoping you’ll fall in love with listening, too.

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