Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Please keep in touch

"Do keep in touch," I said to a friend the other day. She had sold her flat and was about to leave London. Regretful that we'd no longer be neighbours, we agreed to keep in regular contact.
It was only afterwards that I found myself pondering on my choice of words.

I may well be wrong, but it seems to me as though the most powerful of our five senses is the one that we least appreciate and understand. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we take it for granted.

In a world of constantly changing images and sounds, it is impossible to overvalue the miracle of sight, the vital gift of hearing. Taste and smell are also much to the forefront of our daily lives. But what about touch? Whilst it's an integral part of our vocabulary, does it feature equally strongly in our thinking?
We ask our friends to 'keep in touch'. We say we are 'touched' by an event or some unexpected kindness We 'touch base' when getting down to business. But it would seem that whereas the need for touching is fully recognised by our unconsciousness, it is more or less ignored at the conscious level.

Sight and sound can communicate a great deal, but, surely, it is only when we touch, physically touch, that words and sight are rendered redundant?
Take hugging, the benefits are scientifically proven. People willingly join groups with complete strangers to enjoy a session of hugging. They come away happy, relaxed and at one with the world about them.
Give yourself a good, bear-hug and see how good it makes you feel.
Now place your hand on your heart and take a long, deep breath. Did you feel the heart expand in relaxed response?

This is a picture that, for me, epitomises the power of touch. Look at it for a moment.
Can you feel the magnetic and electrical field buzzing between the two hands as they reach out to each other?
The fingers may not yet have touched, but the force of energy linking them is tangible.

Now . . . look a this second picture. Do you experience, as I do, a genuine sense of pleasure and relief that the gap has been closed, that the two hands have made contact?

I was taking part in a workshop the other week. One of the exercises we were asked to do was to express gratitude for our hands, something I'd never seriously considered.
After a few moments, I picked up my note-book and found myself writing these words:

"Never before have I realised the extent to which hands are vital to my life.
I need them to write (as I am doing at this moment), to feed myself, to touch and make contact, to stroke, to explore, to manipulate, to hold tight, to lever, to clutch, to pacify, to wave, to smooth, to caress, to play an instrument, to take a photo, to wash myself . . . wonderful, wonderful hands."

Have I convinced you of the vital importance of our fifth sense?

Please, keep in touch . . .