This Is The Listening: A Storyteller's Perspective

All photos provided by Susan McLaren Photography.

It sounds like holding your breath. It sounds like waiting for something powerful to happen. It sounds like exactly what it is.

The Listening is Lynchburg’s shining stars and unsung heroes gathered to listen deeply to those so determined to be heard that they speak with everything they are.

Lyricists, musicians, actors, dancers, poets . . .

Parents and the abstinent.

Young and old . . .

A rainbow of cultures, generations, givers and embracers converged in a sacred night, guided by their banner of hope for the future: This is the Listening.

The Listening is to Lynchburg like a heartbeat that can only be heard if you press your ear to the city’s bosom and listen to the corps of budding artists and entrepreneurs who know that their city is meant for greatness.

Like water, The Listening adapts itself to the venue which holds it, and on November 7th, the Riverview Artspace came alive with the reverberations of those gathered. Of course, with all of the excitement in the air, the first thing that happened was a blown fuse, which killed all the venue’s sound equipment. This could not stop The Listening.

Pulsing with the stories of youth and experience, the night saw visions of the destructive force that is suicide, the lyrical qualities of a body in prayer, and the power of music that knows no face. This was not entertainment, this was standing-room-only-electric connection.

So enlivened and connected were the participants, that for the final minutes of the gathering everyone , young and old alike, quite literally broke out in a spontaneous dance-fest . . .just like in the movies.

I would say how the event ended, but The Listening has no ending, and we look forward to the next gathering in 2016 when stories that hold the power of the future will not merely be told, they will be lived.

This is The Listening.


T. A. is a local Storyteller & Creative Coach. A recent transplant to Lynchburg, she is the voice behind the company, T.A. Tells.” Feel free to check out her latest creative endeavors at her website www.TAtells.com.