As writers, and as humans who want to live, to be present in the cacophony of life, the chaos, the tenderness and the melancholy, the only way to truly achieve this is to pay attention; to listen.

We tend to defer to passive listening; skimming the surface of what is there, what people are trying to tell us, what is happening outside our immediate scope. One, because we accept something that has always been, because it has become part of how our society functions. Two, because it is easier not to delve and ask more questions, find out what is really happening beneath that simple smile and one word answer. We are conditioned not to delve too deep.

But we need to ask questions. And we need to participate in listening to the answers. Sometimes the answers we are given aren’t the real answers, and more questions need to be asked. The answers will be frightening. They will be change the way we think and the way we act. We might not want to listen. But we must.

Sometimes a new word conjures a new way of thinking about things so I invite you to take the time to think in a new way, or remember an old way and listen.



n.) a detailed, prolonged imaginary world created by a child that includes human, animal or alien creations.

We all begin to make sense of the world in this way, identifying and trying to make sense of the complexities with paracosm. Their world-views lack context in a way that adults’ world-views do, and while they create alternative versions of their own worlds, of their own stories, they are using this to recreate their life, role play the conflicts, the ecstasies and recreate their interactions. This word reminds us that by participating in their paracosm, we are learning more about our children. We can nurture their growing minds, help them deal with anxieties, give them reassurance and in time, provoke them to ask questions of their own. Who knows? We might just learn something from them.



n.) the emotional relief gained from using abusive language.

Have you ever overheard, or been a part of a misunderstanding or a disagreement that escalates into verbal abuse? Sometimes the insults themselves mean as much to the person flinging them, as the person on the receiving end. Abusive language comes easier to some people than others and it should be very plain to see whether the language is a step over that invisible line, the thin veneer between the outward anger and the inward torment of what is happening.

When we dissolve into furious abuse, it is instinctual to put up that defensive wall, to block out the hurt of the other person, not just yourself. Rational discussions rarely take place after such an emotional outpouring. But if you were to stop and listen to the reason behind the abusive language, what would you hear? What would you ask, not only of them, but of yourself? Were you to blame? Are they blaming themselves? How can we move forward and heal?


n.) the low rumble of distant thunder

The anticipation of a summer storm conjures a prickle of excitement within me. The dangerous potential, the electric power causes my heart to start beating faster. It makes me stop and listen; consider the risks that a storm can bring. Often in life, we miss the warning signs, the brontide becomes part of the cacophony of life and we don’t heed the danger. It is worth stopping to listen to the psithurism n.) the sound of the wind through trees. We forget to take a step back from the everyday bustle and stop rushing to listen.

Consider your situation. Is it getting worse? Is it something greater than you? Can you challenge those in control, gather support and make a change? Inaction will breed more inaction.

Are there any other words you can add? I’d love to hear more. Or ask me a question… I’ll give you an honest answer. :)