Lists and Listening – 16/31 #SOL20

I am a lover of words and when I decided to make a list this morning, my imagination began creating an array of images and implications.

I thought about the lists on Found Magazine and the podcast that explores “personal stories of love, loss, hope, transformation and aspiration through the lens of lost and found notes”. Then I remembered listening to a story of a grocery list found in a shopping cart.

  • bread
  • milk
  • eggs
  • improve myself
  • start doing it before it’s too late
  • ignore what they say because it’s not true and I just can’t
  • leave

I love the implications of this list, and the way our minds, ever creating narrative, fill in the gaps of information; I’m reminded that we read ourselves into the narratives that we create perhaps without even realizing it. When we read them, they become a dialogic form.

My family have long been amused by my listing habits and I’ve noticed that my 94 year old father increasingly uses them as markers for living.

What narrative do our lists reveal? What about the way we write? He’s always used all caps, long before this convention signalled yelling. So, I’m listening closely to the lists of my father and looking for signs of slipping…of listing, that is, leaning or tilting. His lists will let me know when I need to step in to prevent the fall.

While this isn’t yet a list, it is my thinking about the stories that are woven out of this necessary human activity and how listening to our lists helps us understand one another.


8 thoughts on “Lists and Listening – 16/31 #SOL20

  1. When you shifted the meaning of listing, my brain lit up like Christmas decorations. Brilliant. Listening, watching the lists for signs of listing. Just brilliant. Also, I had forgotten about Found – and now I remember. Such a great little slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How true that if we listen to our lists it will show who we are in this moment of time! I feel like my lists always show someone who is optimistic that so much will get done in a very small amount of time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a list maker, but I always throw them out. This year I have bought notebook I am using for meal planning lists and keeping track of our family. It is kind of fun to look back and see just how routinized our life is…and yet I need to write it all down to keep track. Lists definitely still a story. I love the way you have mixed a list into the middle of your narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “ I’m reminded that we read ourselves into the narratives that we create perhaps without even realizing it. When we read them, they become a dialogic form.” I love this idea as you’ve applied it to lists. The list you shared from the grocery store reads as a commentary on how the dysfunctional parts of a relationship become normal to the one in that relationship. Yes, the list is dialogic. Of course, I’m revisiting Bakhtin’s “Discourse in the Novel” in my mind.


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