Circles Are Mostly Listening
“Within my rich oral-tradition childhood, elders and kin prepared me, guided me and gave me a way to value how life can come into correct relationship when a person will respectfully listen. I believe people can learn to listen. Stories help us to remember joyously, even as the songs, stories, and tellers change. In the heart of every being there is a “listener” who is hungry, thirsty, and possibly crippled. Listeners all want one thing: something to hope for. Something that will satisfy a gnawing hunger, quench a deep thirst, heal and restore life. Even in an immensely dark time, against seemingly impossible odds, hope flickers. It may be a tiny flame, yes, yet a flame can be kindled, making a small fire to come close to and enjoy. Listeners are the lifeblood of an oral tradition. Peoples’ songs and stories are potent seed, needing listeners. Listeners become the sparks of hope that will bring fresh fire and make new lives out of ashes.”
—From Larry Littlebird, Hunting Sacred, Everything Listens: A Pueblo Indian Man’s Oral Tradition Legacy (Santa Fe, NM: Western Edge Press, 2001), 15–16.