Listening Heaven

If you want to know the real core of the being of a person then just listen to them. Don’t guide them, interject on them, question them about something you find interesting or sit there picking your mental nose – just listen intently as if all the secrets of the universe are contained in what you’re hearing; ’cause they are.

Grumpy Cat

Happiness is finding someone who can listen to you. Bliss is finding someone you’re interested in listening to. Heaven is when they are both the same person.

How to Listen Well

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Listening is a jolly useful skill, so sit quietly and pay attention as I explain it to you. When someone is saying something important to you then it’s wise to listen because if you don’t then you just might miss something valuable. If, on the other hand, someone is coming out with worthless trot all the time then don’t feel obligated or obliged to listen to them at all. In fact, you’d be wise to do the mental equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going ‘la, la, la, la, la (repeat until their lips stop moving)’. Obviously don’t do this with your real fingers – this would be very rude and might just get you swatted around the ears.

So, yeah, in situations where someone is saying something useful then listen, but in the case of someone talking horse do-do then don’t. All you have to do now is figure out which is which. And that involves? Yes, you guessed it – listening. If you don’t listen in the first place then you’ll never know what they are saying. So, either way – you still have to listen.

Okay, now we’ve got that out of the way here’s how to Listen Well. First you have to shut your mouth. Then you have to open your ears. And then you have to keep your mouth shut and keep your ears open, even if what you hear is absolute monkey dribble. The reason you have to do this is so that, on the odd chance something important or useful or beautiful is said, you will be in a position to let it into your mind and either act on it or remember it for later.

So, in summary – keep your ears open so that you can sift through the rocks and stones on the riverbed and find the gold nuggets when they come along. Gold is everywhere – even in the random mutterings of strangers on a bus, or drunkards sat on walls outside pubs and bars, or politicians debating policy in the house of cards they call government, or even your close relatives and friends. The only thing you need to do is listen, sift and save.

Well, I hope that you managed to get something valuable from that. But if you didn’t, then ask yourself: am I sure that I was listening? Really?

Well, that’s all for now. Tune in next time for more How to tips and tricks. Until then – have fun.

Right, you can stop listening now. I’ve done.


He sits at his desk and taps the keys of the keyboard and thinks of things that are happening now like the sound of people talking across the office either to their telephones or to other people stood by them.

He listens to the clinking of teacups and the clacking of the keys before him.

He sees his fingers moving up and down and backwards and forwards across the board and his mind just concentrates on those things to the exclusion of everything else apart from maybe the feel of his legs on the chair or the curve of the spine inside his neck.

These things are just as potent and cogent to him as any other thing in the history of the world.

To everyone else they are as ordinary and banal as the sun rising in the morning, the clouds scudding across the sky on a windy day or the birds calling to each other from tree to tree.

Things I Like


Here are some normal things that I like:

  • the feeling I get after having done something useful
  • buying a book and then holding that book in my hands
  • walking through a place and filling my eyes full of the sights of it
  • listening to something mellow and sad-sounding
  • a smile from someone I love or someone who loves me
  • lazy, sunny afternoons when I have nothing to do
  • eating something deliciously sweet or deeply savoury.

What do you like?

When Will the Future Arrive?


There are levels and layers to the world, as will become evident if you look at this photograph.

See the digital layer in the foreground – this very website, which is visible via the Chrome browser on a Windows operating system on the Phillips monitor that sits before me on a desk in the Family History section of York Explore (it used to be called a library, but has been renamed).

Go further into the photo and you will see the next room (a media center, I think) and then further back/in you see the layer of window, a layer of (Roman, I believe) wall and then, further back, a layer of bush, one of house, another of chimney-pot, a tree and then, finally, a whole slew of clouds (this being England in the grip of winter).

Each of these layers could be expanded into a story. But I won’t bore you with that right now. Instead, I’ll tell you something I just realised:

open and honest

I have no evidence for this. In fact, I have anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Oh, wait – no I don’t. I have conflated several things in error:

  • People who talk loudly about themselves seem to be listed to
  • People who talk about themselves truly and honestly are really listened to
  • People who talk loudly do not seem to be under the weather
  • People who talk about their depression are lightened by doing so
  • People who talk to a sympathetic audience about themselves get sympathy
  • People who talk about being under the weather get out from under it
  • People who talk about other people are not generally held in high regard.

I … (hmm).

I am not generally listened to. At least, that’s how it feels.

Do you think that people tend to know how someone is? Like, from observing them? Do you know me?

I have the feeling that something will happen in the future that will set me to rights. It’s been in my future for a long time now. I wish the future would hurry up and get here.