Seeing through the sound: watching and listening

Dad and Clay making a bow and arrow this summer at camp.

Dad and Clay making a bow and arrow this summer at camp.

My dad recently ended up in the emergency room because of pancreatitis.  He had his gall bladder removed some time ago after some rather difficult bouts with stones and such.  However, as his MD put it, there may still be some sludge and your liver is still making bile.

Mom took him in twice.  The first time, he had a lot of miserable physical symptoms that were pre-empted by a surliness that is super uncharacteristic for my dad.  When he feels tough, you can see through the sound.  He quits humming.  He mumbles under his breath.  He’s short tempered.  And this is coming from a whistle-a-tune, “howdy, how are ya?”, patience-of-Job kind of guy.  Over the years, my mom has learned to see through the sound.

And so they went to the hospital.  He had a very uncomfortable procedure (you know, the kind where you can’t pronounce the words so it’s an acronym), was give pain medication, and finally rested.  He was discharged the following evening, only to return in the middle of the night.  Mom heard him showering at 2:30 a.m.  She could see through the sound what was coming.  And by three, my poor dad was asking to go back to the hospital.

We Skyped with them yesterday, and it was lovely to see my dad’s smiling face and to hear his laugh when he talked with our boys.  I watched and listened while my boys visited with Grandpa.  My youngest son spoke first while my eldest watched.  And listened.  And I’m pretty sure that he could see through the sound of Grandpa’s raspy throat.

This has all gotten me thinking about how in tune I am to my family.  But, how am I “seeing through the sound” when it comes to coaching and my colleagues?  September is a cacophony of sound!  And as I am watching newbies and veterans alike saying yes to more and more and expressing their busy-ness, I am wondering how taking a close looking and really “seeing through the sound” might help me to support them in their work.

I see more clearly through the sound of my trusted friends’ thoughtful conversations and reflections.  It’s harder work to see through the sound of poor yields and break downs at the farm, but I can still watch and listen and notice the passion that’s in my husband’s heart for our farm.  Watching and being mindful of the nuances is just as important as listening to the words.

I am going to be so much more mindful of seeing through the sound… of noticing the bigger picture that subtle clues can help to make.  I need to be more in tune to, for lack of a better descriptor, the background noise that surrounds teachers and how it impacts their work.

Strangely enough, like millions of times before, my dad has brought me insight without even realizing he’s done it.  He’s an amazing man with an inflamed pancreas.  Of note, my mom has reported that he’s much better today.  She could tell because, “He’s even humming a little.”

It’s amazing what you can see through the sound.

Related Articles:

Body Language: Understanding Non-Verbal Communication – Mind Tools

Ignoring the Background Noise When You Are Overwhelmed – Time Management Ninja

A World Made of Ambient Sounds – Ambient Mixer



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