I am always grateful when someone as lovely as K comes to the table. She exuded a simple joyous quality coupled with a fine air of stillness that radiated from her in equal measure. Soft spoken but clear and easy to talk to. The sort that you just start talking, assuming that you have already been friends for some time.
In her admiration of my project she revealed what she needed a creative approach to.
I love your table and have been thinking about doing something similar called ‘public listening.’ What do you think of it and what could I do with it?
Hearing a woman of this depth say those two words – public listener – I could just see her out there being an amazing resource. My experience of putting myself out there with chairs and a table interacting with the public as a service/experiment/art project/exploration of something I am good at has been a total joy. Profoundly rewarding and deeply nourishing for me and others.
As my mind telescoped into the future I could see moments of the same for K. But as I looked into the sweet face of K the one twist to the project popped into mind that somehow fit with K.
This is brilliant. What if you actually just listen only? You don’t speak. You just have a pad of paper to say anything if you need to say anything. Just receive. That could be a service unlike any other particularly because of the depth of your presence and attention.
As I said this K broke into real tears of relief.
Yes! Thank you for saying that. I’m a professional singer. I love singing but need to do it all day. Sing songs. Sing commercials. At night I sing at bars and shows. I am almost at a point where I need a break from hearing myself. I didnt realize that this project could save me and give me space too. How could you have known this about me?
I understood why she was crying. The realizing that our own ideas often have the keys to our own freedom. To what we need most. I saw the unspoken silence in K and called it out. Her silence spoke back. We lovingly embraced goodbye like new old friends.
Sometimes it is just that simple out there in Union Square.