where the writers are
All of us whispering listen, listen, listen...

I wrote the poem at the bottom of this post many years ago. I wanted to speak about the delicious juicy more-ish buzz I felt when this friend was reading my work. I wanted more!

It reminds me of my younger brother at the swimming pool when we were little. He'd say 'look at me! look at me!' over and over until my mum gave him her attention, and then he'd do some kind of somersault or trick before repeating the whole process five minutes later.

I'm learning that when I seek this kind of attention out, I'm onto a loser. It isn't fair to ask people to tell you you're wonderful on demand. Even when they do, I can never get enough of it anyway. Buddhists speak of 'hungry ghosts' with tiny mouths and huge bellies. I never get a belly-full.

When I busy myself with living, and let praise come to me, I enjoy every mouthful, but it doesn't leave me craving more. It feels 'extra', like Raymond Carver's gravy.

The trick is knowing what to do instead of seeking praise, or any other kind of compulsive behaviour, when our bellies feels empty.

Sit with the emptiness. Give ourselves something nourishing, like a hot bath or a goats cheese and tomato sandwich. Be kind to ourselves. Be kind to someone else. We already have everything we need.


All of us

Last night a friend read
my poems
for the first time
and praised several before
picking up her magazine again.
I wanted her to read
everything I
had ever written.

All of us whispering listen, listen, listen.



2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Hi Fiona, I like your words

Hi Fiona,

I like your words of wisdom and reminder to sit with the emptiness. Your entry makes me think of a time when I took a creative writing course and I would have a co-worker friend look at some of my stories for feedback. I gave her one and thought, "Oh, she'll surely not enjoy it or think it's too much." When she came back to me in tears with paper in hand, I was blown away. She had someone related to the story and it hit a spot in her and that nourishment felt so good.

Comment Bubble Tip

Hi Rebbecca

Glad you liked it... and what a great story, just goes to show how much we can underestimate ourselves...