Merle's Blog

Insights and Outsights


Stories, bears, and stuff  to help children bear the unbearable

7 Responses to “Listenbear”

  1. Melissa said

    Hi Merle! My laptop is on the blink and so I am accessing you through your blog (i am at an internet cafe in Gansbaai)…..

    I have some info for you re the tree lessons:

    Milkwood: “I don’t belong” (also think of the life lesson of the 1st chakra: I live / I have)
    White Pear: ” I am sad”
    Rock Alder: “I feel empty inside” (2nd chakra: I feel)
    Bladder Nut: “I am not good enough”
    Wild Peach: “I am worried” (I will / I can chakra 3)
    Hard Pear: “It’s all your fault”
    Spike Thorn: “your’e not the boss of me” / “I hate you” (heart chakra: I love)
    Sea Guarrie: “I dont care”
    Wild Olive: “it’s all ruined” / I dont believe things will get better” (I speak, 5th chakra)
    Saffron Wood: Nobody likes me.
    Pock Ironwood: “I dont know” (6th chakra: I know / see)
    Cherry wood: ” I am afraid”
    White sinkwood: I can’t” (7th I am / I know)

    Hopefully i am back on line at home soon – maybe best to contact me via my cell phone:

    082 411 0448

    Lots of love

  2. Jorunn Fjeld said

    Hi Merle!
    As you know,I have my regular work as a teacher and counsellor at an educational centre here in Stavanger, and some time ago I had a class of Palestinian refugees, recently arrived to Norway and just started to learn Norwegian.I got this idea of introducing them to Listenbear in order to create some identification,communication and relation since we had no verbal language in common. However, I noticed that they where a open minded and lively group that loved to talk and touch each other. I was amazed to see that they responded to Listenbear immidiately and named him ” Habibi”, which means “dearest” or “beloved” in Arabic.They of course knew that the happy bear was ment for children, but they enthusiasticly particpated in our role play and the learning of the new Norwegian phrases went easier and smoothly because it was more fun, it seemed. One of the ladies had a 6 year old daughter at our school for children and and I understood that that she wanted me to bring Habibi to her.And thus I was invited to be a substitute teacher in the first grade class for a day. They all loved Habibi and burst out in tears when he left the class that day. I translated the text from English to Norwegian the best I could, but should have done a better job as the English text is so wonderfully put together, with all its rhyme and delicate rythms. When a text is like a song, then It hits and move the listeners – and this is particullary important if one want to reach the children`s mind and heart.
    And Listenbear/Habibi says hello,looking down from his place at the top shelf in my home office…

  3. Jorunn Fjeld said

    An Arabic translation would be greatly appriciated, I am sure. I`ll pass it on to the right persons. Thanks 🙂
    I have just browsed trough the Norwegian translation, and in my opinion it is not a good one – on every level; grammar,semantics and pragmatics.

  4. Rita Allegretto said

    Merle: I just chanced upon your blog tonight as I heard somewhere the phrase “When an elder dies a whole library burns down.” I looked up the phrase tonight on google and came across your story about that phrase coming from the indigenous people of Africa and I was totally intrigued. I loved your story of all the grandmothers getting together to talk about their experiences. I am a grandmother of twelve myself and a published poet. I have a poems about my observations of a grandmother that I would like to share if you are interested. Thank you for writing your blog. Your bear books look interesting too. I shall have to look into this site more closely in the future. Rita Allegretto

    • Dear Rita, Thank you for your insightful words. I would love to read your poetry. I have not updated this blog in a while, so your note to me has jolted me back into action.

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