“TOUCH is what we desire in one form or another, even if we find it through being alone, through the agency of silence or through the felt need to walk at a distance: the meeting with something or someone other than ourselves, the light brush of grass on the skin, the ruffling breeze, the actual touch of another’s hand; even the gentle first touch of an understanding which until now, we were formally afraid to hold.”
~David Whyte, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, pg. 221
These words from poet David Whyte can provide some solace in these troubling times. His ideas about touch are interesting to consider. For those who live alone, there’s sometimes that longing for touch—for hugs and human contact that are especially intense right now. For those who live with others, there’s sometimes the need to see new faces and to have new conversations when you’ve been holed up together for a while. There’s something to the idea that we all desire touch in one form or another, though touch can be the light brush of grass on one’s skin, the ruffling breeze, and yes, even that first touch of an understanding which we might have been afraid to hold onto before.
It seems that we are being confronted by so many new ideas these days.
What might have felt important before this pandemic doesn’t anymore.
What might have seemed trivial before this pandemic all of a sudden has taken on new meaning.
We might be touched in this time apart by new understandings and have new appreciation for people. Appreciating those who touch us, not just in that physical touch sense (though maybe that as well), but emotionally and spiritually.
For example, there’s articles about how in this time of crisis we’ve turned to the artists. Art programs are sometimes the first on the chopping block with school budgets. Yet it’s the artists who are helping us in incredible ways, who are touching our souls and helping us get through these trying times. The Music Directors here in Colchester collaborated on a lovely song, “A Better Place”, dedicated to their students (featuring CFC’s own Lynn Goodwin!) Maybe you’ve been having Netflix marathons or listening to music you love. Or you’ve seen that Andrew Lloyd Weber has released some of his full musicals on certain weekends on YouTube. And Josh Groban has started singing requested songs in his shower! Authors have given permission for their books to be read to kids. There’s even a man named Wes Tank who’s been rapping Dr Seuss books over Dr Dre beats! Seriously. There’s many examples of artists who are helping us cope with this new reality. Take a moment this week to contemplate who is providing consolation for you, who touches your soul, who helps you even have new understandings and thank them if you’re able! It’s truly a blessing.
(This Week’s Thoughts 5.7.20)