Making ripples

Excerpts from the personal journal of new Living Words writer in training, Oliver Senton

Week One

…A fascinating and challenging couple of days. I was very trepidatious (a long word, but not as loaded as ‘worried’) about going into the home. I felt, feel, a weight of responsibility to deal with all the people I encounter or talk to respectfully – not in terms of politeness, but in terms of getting to honour them and their inner lives.

It’s a fiendishly complicated procedure.

Week Two

… I find myself thinking so many things, whilst aiming for stillness and an open mind – I’m a learner and I am juggling all that needs to be done. I find myself thinking: Am I making a connection? Am I making enough notes? Am I making too many notes? Is the microphone (on my phone) optimally positioned for a clear recording?

And as these thoughts go through my mind, deeper realisations start to happen:  How often do we spend, in relative quiet, looking at and listening to one individual? How often in life do we fully give our time and attention to another person (unless your work demands it in some way: therapist, priest, any kind of professional listener)? And when you do do that, certain basic things come back to you – we are all fascinating, we are all unique, we are all worthy of attention.

This is just a few observations after eight half hours of the process; but already it is clear how it requires a different level of attention, a change in rhythm both physically and mentally, a shedding of ego.

It’s a fiendishly complicated procedure.

Oliver Senton. Oliver is a professional actor who also teaches at several drama schools. He lives with his family in Kent.