Some Times are for Listening–an inquiry into one side of the coin


I would like to take a quick moment before this entry starts to introduce myself—my name is Alex Lindorff (however you will find my passages under the moniker ‘Al Dogg’) and I am a 24-year old living and taking in all that is good in life in the Twin Cities.  I will be writing about a few topics, namely music, values, and current events that have some bearing on our lives.  I hope that some of the things we share in this forum help us do some important self-analysis—and also aid us in making the world around us a bit better.  How will we make it better?  Well that remains for us to discover!  Welcome to leave-it-to-the-prose!


A very dear friend of mine and I recently sat down at a bar for a couple beers to catch up and talk about the current state of our affairs—a thing all friendships require.  It had been some time since our last meeting, so this rendezvous was as much about analyzing some of our problems as it was about enjoying each others company.

As we delved into candid conversation about life’s trials and tribulations, I told my friend that I was having trouble trying to find outlets for some pain I was experiencing—I was telling all my friends about how unjust life was, running everyday to endorphenize the pain (that’s my word ;-), etc….  The cause of said pain is moot; everyone has some anyway.  Being that my friend and I have made music together for close to a decade, I told him about all the new songs I was writing to try with every ounce of my strength to rid the monkey from my back—but to no avail.  Because for me, it always seemed that music was a great outlet to cleanse the mind of whatever negativity was festering.  But, for the now, that strategy wasn’t working.

My friend, after some introspection, said “Some times are for listening.”  I nodded at first, and then sat back in my chair thinking of what that meant.  “I’ve written songs and done many, many other things to vent throughout my life,” he said, “but right now, I’m just listening.”


Like that dizzying feeling you get with a rush of blood to the head, I felt as though my mind couldn’t get around the simplicity of that comment.  Here I am, figuratively screaming at the top of my lungs through song to vent my pains (and, honestly, maybe to also have people know I am in pain in a plea for empathy), when maybe what I should be doing is flipping that coin to the other side.

Ying and yang.  Sweet and sour.  Heads and tails.  Happy and sad.  Speaking out and listening in.  You can’t have one without the other and the fact of the matter is if you are always on one side of the story, you can never know what the truth is.  So I ask myself this and you should certainly ask yourself:  Are you listening enough?  Are you too wrapped into your own world to see the forest through the trees?  Because if being selfish is a painful sickness, then listening is an anodyne. 

There are a million ways to go with this, and I invite you to give some insight.  It’s funny because my friend said this comment in the context of writing songs, i.e. the ebbs of flows of songwriting that have you writing in a flurry sometimes and other times listening to others for inspiration.  But the fact of the matter is this duality mirrors every aspect of our lives.

My friend, whose name by the way is Kye Samuelson (I love you), listened that night and listened with all his heart.  And there is not much more that I can ask from a friend…except for another round of Leinenkugel’s Honey Weis!!! (Wisconsin beer FYI)

So, if you would like, put in your two cents and let’s all LISTEN to what you have to say, but try to take a moment to listen to someone else today—we may all learn something…

Submitted by: Al Dogg



5 responses to “Some Times are for Listening–an inquiry into one side of the coin

  1. Erik Gruber aka Zizzle-Zot

    Right on, Al Dogg (and Kye). We’re taught to be doers, movers, shakers, and so often this constant motion causes us to neglect the world in front of our eyes. Just listening is extremely therapeutic. Very Zen, profound in its simplicity.

  2. I find that a season of listening paves the way for a season of new ideas. The dualities of life are rather nebulous, but if we observe enough to understand them when they manifest, we can use them for our own well being. Thus, stopping and listening can be one of the most productive (in)actions we can effectuate.

  3. Listening’s cool… I wish more people would try it.

  4. Grubs-
    I really like your comment about the hustle and bustle of life–how we are taught to be movers and shakers. It’s the truth and truly listening really has a zen quality to it. I know it is something that I believe to be my biggest flaw. I have always been one to speak (or scream) my mind but have issues with really, truly, deeply listening. Friends, family, someone you love and care about, and strangers on the street can teach you something if you stop for a moment…

  5. Al I agree with all of this, and it is amazing what complexities can be solved with the simplicity of listening.
    Although, on the flip-side, a chronic listener can be just as bad to the assassination of ones mind. I am a great example of said person, I am a great listener and often find myself denying myself a vent session.
    But lately I have found that perfect balance, and I am soaring! The key is honesty, not just to others, but most importantly to ones self. Acknowledgment that there are problems going on, problems bigger then yourself.

    Jeffrey C

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s