listening ears

Last weekend was fantastic. I love that I've sort of been adopted into my brother's group of friends. We went out on John's boat for a full day of tubing, cliff-jumping, rope-swinging, and the like. It was good fun. And, of course, Harry Potter was truly magnificent. I have a lot to say about it, but I'll wait a few days before risking spoiling anything for anyone. At this point, I will just say that it was beautiful and wonderful and I loved it. But I'm incredibly sad that it's all over now. After I finished the book, I just sort of walked around my room like, oh... what do i do NOW? It's very hard to believe that this massive and intricate story is complete; that the adventurous journey I've been on for 6 years is over. Forever. I'm being dramatic, but it feels like I already miss the characters, as if they're my friends. As if they're even real. But in the words of the infinitely wise Albus Dumbledore, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why one earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Things are also quite good in the non-literary part of my life (which is, joyfully, the minority.) The past few days have brought several opportunities for me to engage in my favorite activity: listening. Listening is what I love. It's what I do. I've always been a person to whom people come to talk about their problems, and that's something that I have always taken pride in and immensely enjoyed. However, while I was sick, I had a lot of trouble listening well; I was in so much pain myself that it was tremendously difficult for me to step outside of my own issues and empathize with those of others. I was somewhat aware of this at the time, but I didn't fully realize how much I missed that part of my life until it re-emerged the other day on a walk around the park with Tyler. It's when I listen to people--really listen to the real stuff of their inner lives--that I feel most alive, most purposeful. It's then that I feel most clearly that God is using me in just the way He planned to use me. And I have begun to feel that on a near-daily basis again, as two other friends have since come to me needing to talk. I feel resurrected. I am so glad that these opportunities have presented themselves to me and that, more importantly, I've been able to rise to the occasions. I'm still not 100% better physically, but I'm emotionally healthy enough now that I have been able to listen the way I used to, which is a huge blessing, as much (maybe more) for me than for those who've come to me with problems. I'm back. And my name isn't Frasier Crane, but...I'm listening. :)