I walked alone the last two days. This morning, Burt from Canada said he’d come along. I welcomed the company, which was also a fabulous diversion from wrestling the angel.

Bert said kind things about the songs I sang a couple of nights earlier. We got to talking about his retirement, and his next thing and my next thing. We talked about each others reasons for the Camino.

Bert had a wonderful career helping people discern theirs. We talked about what’s next for me. I exclaimed that my next, is what I‘m doing presently. I did admit that I’d like to do it with more focus, more intention, more surety about the future. Who wouldn’t?

At a certain point, we joined up with his buddies from Canada…which is to say that Gordon and Pierre caught up with us! They went on as a group.

But before we parted, Burt asked me, “What question can I leave you with?”

His question was a welcome inquisition into the heart of the matter for me and my future. What I mean is this; often in conversation, we want to help each other. Helping, often takes the shape of advice giving and answer prescribing. And often, while well meaning, advice can be reflective of the person offering.

What Burt did was to turn that upside down. He didn’t prescribe anything. He asked permission to ask a question…that I would give him!

My heart knew the question. I told him as much. He offered this simple idea; “David, maybe your heart, your mind…they know what question is stirring within. I don’t have answers for you, but asking the question may be all you need right now. The Camino might do the rest. Thank you Burt.

I’m going to stop offering advice, and begin to ask what question I can leave with whomever I’m in conversation.

Leave a Comment

  • nonnie October 22, 2016, 8:23 pm

    When men listen they do so with “solving” in mind. They want to “fix” whatever is discussed. Women listen and offer “a sympathetic ear”. No advice, no solutions. Moral – Listen Like A Woman. 🙂 to others, to yourself, to your “Dark Night of the Soul”
    Love you.

  • Linda November 13, 2016, 5:47 pm

    Thank you for this reminder. Listening is an active part of communication, with a person, with our spiritual guide. Both parties benefit. Sometime the benefit is not said but lived at another time. Peace to you