Listen for Life’s Artbeat

Last week at Sydney Writers Festival, I fell under the spell of the graceful being that is Ben Okri.

He said

Writing requires listening – very deep listening – to the world, to other people, to oneself.

I agree.

An artist pays attention, gives attention, tunes in to the tree roots level of the material that calls. The fine hairs that live on your sensitive artist antennae waggle around on your head, picking up creativity fodder.

This listening is a quality of presence. We attend, consciously and unconsciously. It’s as much about receiving as it is about doing; about input as well as output. The in-breath as well as the out-breath.

Can you allow yourself a pause – for ten seconds – for two minutes?

In order to l-i-s-t-e-n?

Listening (though someone said I should call it Glistening. Because of the sparkly bits)

(though someone said I should call it Glistening. Because of the sparkly bits)


9 thoughts on “Listen for Life’s Artbeat

    • thank you so much. i am new to the blogosphere….heaps to learn. i chanced upon your blog and find it gorgeous and fascinating. Hope to be able to provide more and more depth for you to explore. warmly.


  1. Hello Sally! I was just searching for a quote from this interview after hearing Ben Okri talk so powerfully about listening so I could use it on a flyer for a workshop I’m running. Lo and behold, you had it on your blog! Thank you, my dear! Just what I needed. Much love, Clare

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And thank you, Ms Clare, for supplying us with Ben Okri’s actual words.
    Here they are, via your fine self:
    ‘Learning to write is about very, very deep listening—listening to the world, listening to people, listening to yourself.’


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