WHEN YOU LISTEN / 1

COLOURA few audios that have taken my fancy this last week or so: * One of my favourite and most cherished habits is listening to This American Life while I cook dinner of an evening. Something about Ira's voice that keeps me company, keeps me thinking, and keeps me from going mad with all the dishes. This one was one of the heartwarming ones, a real favourite. It made me smile and, perhaps not surprisingly, cry a little. I won't go into detail, it's nicer to hear Andrew's story in his own voice, but I will say that it's a story about walking and finding, but most especially it's a story about listening.

* And because I'm still trawling through all the Sydney Writer's Festival sessions I missed, so gloriously available on their blog, I came across The Ideas that Changed the World. An amazing exploration of history and economics, of how we have come to think and do, what drives us and how things unfold in our daily lives. I loved how dynamic and full this talk was, and how the three amazing ladies involved - Sylvia Nasar, Aleks Krotoski and Rachel Botsman - spoke with intelligence and whole bodies of research and facts that overlapped and complimented each other in this mere hour beautifully.

* Listening to this witty talk from ABC Radio National as I folded washing last Tuesday night was pretty wonderful. Amelia Lester was a fact-checker at The New Yorker for some years before becoming managing editor at the age of 26 (yeah, 26). I loved everything she had to say, the quirky stories and the name-dropping, but I especially loved what she had to say about detail. I'm one for detail, I've written here before about my love of the small things, so listening to this you can imagine how I smiled wide and scrambled for a pen and some paper to take down her perfect closing lines:

'Details matter... The minutia of our lives, what we had for breakfast... or the bus we took to work in the morning, these things actually do matter and they add up to what is our whole self and they shape who we are. And to pay attention to them, however seemingly insignificant those details are to us, is not just polite, but it seems to me that in fact - in fact - it's the highest mark of respect you can show to another person'

{Image from the Cuban Series, by Simon Page}