I dreamt of being on my boat again last night. It was a common dream for a long time, mostly comforting but a little bittersweet since I can’t afford her anymore, that changed one to the other only in the minutiae but not the subtext.
Active listening involves concentration, understanding, responding when appropriate and only to an appropriate degree, and letting the other person guide the conversation as they need. And it’s still a conversation so long as one person is talking (or snotting on your sleeve) and another is paying attention.
A good friend of mine, when discussing this with me, has called kindness a muscular strength, powerful, not a weakness in any sense and one of the most intrinsic pillars of our humanity.