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“Put your ear down close to  your soul and listen hard.” (Anne Sexton)

This is the work of Advent.

If I can listen to my own soul* and give you even an inkling of what I hear, I have given a gift far greater than all the stuff or the fluff that fills most of the sound and fury of our waking hours.

But giving this sort of authentic self revelation to those with whom we are already most familiar. . . now that is a challenge.


Well. Lots of reasons. You know them. Vulnerability. Fear. Unfounded belief in the danger of it.

So we  obfuscate. Side step. Demure. Ignore. Move on. Play music. Eat more. Eat less. Run. Watch TV. Open the laptop. Read someone else’s more interesting story in a novel. Work. Drink.

All the while missing the inklings of the self.  Of the other. Of the shared space in between. And we guard ourselves from the disappointments.


Some deeper sound is trying to be heard.


I keep trying to lower my expectations
but they stubbornly refuse
holding their heads high
all the while I’m falling
they run headlong
into disappointment
bruising hope
scuffing promises
tripping over my heart
which insists
with pounding desire
to keep on
for joy

For these dwindling days of Advent, an invitation: put your ear down close to your soul. What is it that you hear?

* A soul, in my writing is one’s whole embodied, emotional, relational self. Not a disembodied spirit or even an essence of the self. But the whole self.