The man and his wife- A Story about listening 2


This is a story about a man and his wife….
One day the wife was in their bedroom knitting a sweater for their grandchild. She had woken up very early and completed all the tasks that needed doing around their small bungalow. She made herself a cup of tea and sat by the window knitting. Well, soon, the lovely sunlight lost its rays to a thick cloud that began to form in the sky. The weather man had predicted a possibility of light showers. The woman was not disturbed. She was going to enjoy the different levels of light that were dimming and brightening the room. As long as she could see her crotchet needle, her senses would do the rest. Knitting was a hobby she had enjoyed for many years and she joked sometimes about being able to knit with her eyes closed. The only light she needed was at the start when she made the first knot.
She prayed silently that her husband would be engrossed with whatever he was doing. Often times, he came in to commence his switch on activity around the house as soon as he saw the slightest darkness. She hated the lights in the daytime. Nothing beats natural light to her. However, he did it with such love and affection mostly teasing her about preserving her eyes so that she could see him when they were old and grey. Her frown and vehement requests to the contrary were always replaced by his good intentions. No No No he always said. You need the light!
Well, as she sat there knitting and listening to the birdsong by her window, she could smell the green grass as her neighbour mowed the adjacent lawn. She knew she should shut the windows to avoid a bout of hay fever but she didn’t. She was sitting at a position that you only got once in a lifetime. She felt so comfortable and did not want to move from the spot where she was sitting. She had struck the perfect balance between cushion softness, hand angling and crotchet needle holding. She could feel her glasses hang off her nose at that perfect angle where it felt like it would fall off but stayed put because of the tilt she had achieved with her head. It was just a perfect knitting morning.
Then suddenly, just as she dreaded, he entered the room.
“Click”
He switched on the light before she could even find her voice.
It was too late. She exhaled the deep breath with which she meant to say “don’t turn on the light!”. Well it was done now. No use wasting her breath.
As he left the room, he shut the door which she had left slightly ajar. Now the room was quiet. So quiet, she could hear her thoughts.
“What’s wrong with this man?” she wondered.”I was listening to the music”.
He did not even bother to ask her if she wanted the door shut. He assumed that just because she was knitting, she wanted peace and quiet. Well she did, but not in the literal sense. She wanted just enough sounds to keep her mind from drifting. She wanted the sounds from the lounge to filter in and hang above the loudness of her quiet thoughts.
He just assumed…
After an hour of knitting, the arrival of hunger in her belly made her jump without thinking. She needed food! Who would have thought that knitting would be such hard work? Well maybe if she did not muster all the mental strength to keep herself from drowning in her loudly quiet thoughts.
As she walked into the lounge, she saw that he had set up the flower pot on the large desk in the living room.
On the top of the table beneath the vase were lots of old newspapers. He had formed a bed with them and taped them down with some masking tape. He was busy painting the vase. She walked up to him and saw that he was painting the long vase with a brush with bristles as thin as her nail vanish brush.
“This brush is too small” she said
“I am not in a hurry’ he replied
“It’s not about how long it would take to paint, its about how it would look in the end” she said
“Well, I am not complaining” he replied irritatingly
“Oh dear, who said you were complaining”, she retorted.
“Well, you are disturbing me”, he said
“What! I was only trying to help”, she replied, sounding hurt.
“Well no one asked for your help”, he said
“That’s really a horrible thing to say” she replied
“Well, I know what I am doing!”, he said still focussing on his painting.
She looked at him. She could feel herself beginning to fume. If only she could get him to listen. He always took a brash stand if he felt threatened and it always offended her.
“See, I did not say that you did not know what you were doing. We all know what we are doing. However, that does not mean that there are not many ways of doing the things we know. Perhaps considering those alternatives broaden our view about how to do the things we know how to do. It can even make us question them and give us other alternatives”, she said.
“Well, I know what I am doing. I don’t know why you are here disturbing me. Considering that when I came into the room and saw you knitting, I only supported and helped you. Why can’t you do the same for me?”he said.
“Helped me? She said sounding alarmed.
“No you did no such thing. You assumed that you helped me but you stressed me. In fact that’s why I am here to find something to eat. You switched on the light which you know I hate in the day. You shut the door and left me to drown in my thoughts. Now I feel exhausted. I saw that when you came in, you only meant to help. So what did I do, I allowed you to. I did not start retorting as you are doing now because I did not want to hurt your feelings. However, time and time again, you take this attribute of mine for granted and sit on that high horse of yours feeling that you do things better than I do for you!” She said rushing out of the room feeling extremely hurt.
It was so hard for him to hear these things but they were true. He probably could see the sense in what she was saying but she did not stay long enough to hear him out. The fact was that as long as his mind was made up, it created a barrier to his listening. He knew what he was doing…full stop! But perhaps, she made sense. He refused to listen to her requests about how she wanted things to be done for her because he felt that he was acting in her best interest. The fact that she tolerated his approach to avoid conflict, gave him an erroneous feeling of correctness compared to her in his mind. Or at least, that is what she thought.
Thanks for reading.
Photo credit Pixabay

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