As I was awakening this morning I was reminded of a meeting with a friend who I’d only ever previously been in touch with online. It was while I was in Australia (a good few moons ago) and we met up at the hostel I was staying at. The overwhelming sense was of unreality that we were actually in the same place at the same time – even then, I remember very clearly that Touch was really important: I can touch you!
We arranged to meet up again and went to a pub, then up to a viewpoint over Brisbane (where there were also a lot of people) and finally ended up in a quiet spot, sitting on the earth, listening to the sounds of the evening. What struck me this morning was that it was when we stepped out of the human structures of roads, buildings, organised enjoyment that we actually connected. We really were able to speak to each other and somehow the awkwardness of a face-to-face meeting dissipated.
This realisation, this acknowledgement of the impact of my surroundings on my level of connection, was prompted by my latest read – Truth or Dare by Starhawk. A story of connection in itself – it’s own subtitle is Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery. I’m about a third of a way in and am already feeling close to overwhelmed by the depth and richness of it, as well as by the incredible challenge it presents, just in the reading. It’s a book I have thought “Wow! If only I’d read this when I first started campaigning!” – but then recognised I may not have been ready for it. It’s not a book I’m going to fly through – it’s simply too rich for that. But it is one I anticipate coming back to again and again – seeking challenge, inspiration and a new way of viewing the world. That I am reading it due to a chance reconnection with one friend, who was recommended it originally by a very dear friend of mine, is an added bonus.
It also plays well with my distress at the disconnection I see around me, in myself and in others, which I feel is contributing massively to the interpersonal and planetary destruction the human race is enacting every day. And, conversely, is another way of me understanding the immense sense of peace and wellbeing I found as I opened the curtains of where I’m staying this morning and looked out on the mist on the hills of the Lake District. Of that same sense of peace and wellbeing I get looking out over the bay every day I’m in Morecambe. And, in deed, of the incredible feeding of my soul I get from working in the soil and outside in the woods as I continue my plant-growing exploration and adventures.
Wow. I feel like I’m only just getting started…