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  April 4, 2014
Human Connections...

 


 

Today is the first Friday of the month...so time for another guest blogger to join us...

Over the past 7 months we’ve had an incredible assortment of topics and musings from our guest bloggers...

Sarah, our blogger today gives us a glimpse of another interesting perspective from the point of view of a soon-to-be college graduate...

Do you have something interesting to say?...of course you do...

Drop me an e-mail if you’d like to join the ranks of "guest blogger"...

                                                                           Jim

 

"Something there is that doesn’t love a wall...

I let my neighbor know and on a day we meet to walk the line and set the wall between us once again... 

Good fences make good neighbors."  

                            ~  Robert Frost, Mending Wall

 

I am currently in the middle of university finals and graduation preparation.

Three schools and two majors packing a suitcase of friendships, experience, a shoddy bit of wisdom, and a supernatural hope for the journey ahead. 

Naturally, this time brings an overwhelming sense of nostalgia of friendships begun freshman year... that have grown stuffy with neglect... now suddenly resurface as if sensing that our time grows short.

One such friendship, two really, which I have been indulging these past weeks, finds the three of us, late at night, conversing over now an empty bottle of wine, about some artistic, cultural and/or philosophically provoking movie or article. 

We ponder and probe at each other’s arguments and opinions while listening, discussing, agreeing, arguing and sipping our wine, until the wee hours of the morning, when the birds remind us that our fantastical utopia of divine musings must draw to a close. 

Though I freely admit that my sleeping habits have suffered this evening, there is a kind of life being freely exchanged among us; I feel as though we’ve resurrected literature’s Inklings or Schubert’s Salon Recitals as we sit in rational persistence of the human condition.

Most recently, the connections between people have overwhelming been the topic of our musings. 

How powerful is a gaze held slightly longer than socially acceptable, or a brush of the shoulders that violates the personal "space bubble" we might inflate each day.

There are legendary tales that surround greatly charismatic people as Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa.  These stories tell us of an immediate intense personal connection with people; people we know only by reputation but whose attentions narrow profoundly at the intercommunication of another. 

In their presence, you feel as though you are the only person alive, and they live solely for the purpose of hearing your story. Then, at a certain moment, when eyes meet, perhaps hands hold, the connection is made and you become more fully human. 

In a profound moment such beautiful harmony is created between the instruments of the two souls, as if to say "It is good that you are." 

It echoes the words of Genesis, as God proclaims over His decree of creation: "It is very good." 

Christians believe that God Himself became incarnate and spent His ministry for the very purpose of creating human connections.

But... we are afraid. 

We are afraid to "go there" with another person..we are afraid of the exertion required to receive another... we are afraid of the possibility of not being received ourselves when we open our souls to say "hello." 

When we say "Hey! How are you?" over our shoulder as we pass by the familiar face we do not mean to question the emotional status but instead automatically disguise our acknowledgement of another person’s presence in our vision of realism. 

We traipse through the grocery store aisles, across college campuses, around the maze of cubicles with our eyes down and fixed on our children, our own troubles, our infinite task list that grows exponentially with each errand we cross off. 

How many connections are lost in these precious moments? How many people do you pass in your daily trajectory? How many people do we purposefully, or worse ignorantly, ignore as we persist in our own realities, content with comfort.

Making connections is terrifying as it causes us to be vulnerable. 

In a beautifully graphic scene of this human connection, Buddy Wakefield captures the essence of a buried angst we feel at opening ourselves to another in his slam poetry, "Convenience Stores." 

Buddy Wakefield - Convenience Stores

Buddy Wakefield - Convenience Stores

 

How appropriately named - how we love convenience.

What should happen if we stretched our arm and shook a tree just to feel its life; it doesn’t expect you, yet there is created, an instant bond of sensation, purpose, affirmation, and being. Just to be with another in this simply attractive expression is truly beautiful.

We are asked to drop our pose, this second nature we create for ourselves to survive, cope, experience, feel, heal, love. 

In the early 80’s movie, "My Dinner with Andre," Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory enter into an impressive dialogue on the nature of life, the nature of theater, and the modest simplicity of Shawn’s character contrasted with the spiritual ecstasies of Gregory’s extravagant experiences. 

My Dinner with Andre 13/14

My Dinner with Andre

When speaking on the raw encounters of another, particularly within the western social spheres Wally asks, "Suppose you’re going through hell in your own life... well you would love to know if your friends have experienced similar things. But you don’t dare to ask each other." Andre responds, "No, it would be like asking your friend to drop his role." Such an ugly and unnatural thing is fear.

My friends and I also spoke about the vast gender differences of living in community. 

In a houseful of women, emotions and tensions are sometimes palpable as subtext infiltrates conversation. "I’ll take the dishes in" soon becomes a vicious plea, "Please clean up after yourself so I don’t have to!" 

In a male household, particularly with those embracing their Italian and Spanish heritage, such subtitles are non-existent. An emotion of anger at being the only one to take out the trash translates to "Hey! Will you take out the trash, I do it all the time!" 

I sometimes envy men for their candor.  Is candor though perhaps it is just another word for courageous?

Today, my proposal is to rediscover our humanity. 

There is no embarrassment in making and maintaining those connections.

What great things we could do, large or small, without saluting our pride and fear before each day’s battles. "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall." 

There is something natural that cries from our depths wanting to communicate life. 

Fences are meant to separate people... by setting boundaries forcing us to keep our distance from our neighbors...

...but our neighbors are people... and people don’t need more fences... they need to be embraced and our friendships celebrated...

...making a human connection...

Sarah Kalb

 

My daughter Sarah currently resides in Los Angeles, CA...living her dream by writing, acting, and spending her time surrounded by friends, family, and well-wishers...

 

  
Jim Kalb
President

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 

Twitter - @OptiFuse

Previous Blogs

Teeming with Success...

Unconventional Courage...

Words to Live By...

A World Apart...A Part of the World...

All Expectations...

Brewing Up a Storm...

Throwing Star Fish...

What Matters the Most...


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