• Whitney Miller

LISTEN: verb

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

lis·​ten | \ ˈli-sᵊ

So much is happening right now: COVID-19 and quarantine. It can be a lot. It can be overwhelming. I find myself at times sitting in my room wanting to go somewhere, see someone, do something. The walls close in. I am not one to sit idly by without a to-do list that goes on forever, hopping from one obligation to the next. Quarantine halted my fast-paced lifestyle. It can be frustrating. But the most incredible thing also has happened because of quarantine. It forced me to sit still and listen.

According to Webster-Merriam Dictionary “listen” means:

  1. To pay attention to sound (Listen to music)

  2. To hear something with thoughtful attention: give consideration (Listen to a plea)

  3. To be alert to catch an expected sound (Listen for his step)

Let’s break down the relevancy of these definitions. First, “to pay attention to sound.” Living in quarantine can bring up a lot of emotions. I find myself turning to music to help cope. Music is relatable and an outlet for vulnerability. It can be a source of community and coming together. It reassures. Listening to music makes me feel less alone and it lets my mind wander. I don’t feel so confined to the walls of my house.

Here are my top pick songs to listen to right now:

Secondly, “to hear something with thoughtful attention: give consideration.” Listen to others during this time. Be aware of what is happening around you. Check in on friends and family. There are so many forms to stay connected virtually, utilize it! 

Also, remember to listen to yourself. Quarantine can be difficult. Check in with yourself and pay attention to your own needs. 

One of my favorite poems, “An invitation to brave space,” by Micky Scottbey Jones stresses the need to create brave, productive space. 

Together we will create brave space

Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” -

We exist in the real world.

We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.

In this space we seek to turn down the volume of the outside world, we amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,

We call each other to more truth and love.

We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.

We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.

We will not be perfect.

It will not always be what we wish it to be.


It will be our brave space together,


We will work on it side by side

Create a space for yourself that you feel comfortable, content and confident in.

Thirdly, “to be alert to catch and expected sound.” For me, I interpret this as staying up-to-date with the news right now. As COVID-19 continues, try to stay aware of what is happening. Whether that be a quick skim of the New York Times online in the morning or watching the nightly news on television

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