‘When someone reads you what they have written,’ wrote a seven year old, ‘they are giving you a present.’ Sharing one’s writing can be nerve-wracking but to have an audience, is, also, a gift to the writer. And so reading aloud is an exchange of gifts.
The listener and reader receives the gift of words. The writer received the gift of attention. As a writer one learns a great deal simply from the reader’s breath -the gasp, the chuckle, the resonating silence. The writer hears their own words on the air and knows they have been received by an attentive audience. The reader is changed in the way that readers are always changed by their reading, even if the change is hardly perceptible.
The words to be exchanged are ‘Thank you.’