Technology holds its own wonderment and I offer gratitude for that all it captures and communicates. We have depended on it for years, especially to connect with those we know who live abroad. We certainly would be in a different place without it.
However, although it is marvellous, technology captures and communicates only fraction, a fragment of who we are. This may explain why even when I’ve chatted and laughed with a group of my closest friends online I feel both more, and less, connected with them.
We have so little of each other now. This is a line which has been repeating over and over in my head. I heard it in a poem by Danusha Laméris and it gave words to what I have been feeling, and what I’ve heard others try to express. We have so little of each other now.
This applies almost exclusively, unless you live with others in your home, then, you may have had too much of them!
But, for everyone else, we have so little of each other. We live our roles as sister, brother, auntie, cousin, volunteer, co-worker, friend, from too far away.
Now and again in my work I put on PPE. When dressed like this I feel it again.
We have hands, in plastic gloves. We have smiles, behind masks. We have our eyes, ‘the window to the soul’. So much depends on what we can communicate through our eyes, our so often, tired eyes. Tired soul too perhaps.
We are separated by pixels and screens and visors at checkouts and digital audio and necessary protective equipment. Humans must stay 2 metres apart at all times. For weeks on end.
We have so little of each other now.
So this is just a little note to say, I miss the smell and touch and sound of you. I miss being in the same room with you, I miss your reassuring presence. I miss all you communicate without saying a word. I miss the most of you that technology cannot deliver. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to have any part of you, 5%, 15%. But I want you to remember there is so much more to you than your typed comments, your digitised voice, your pixelated face. When I see you on my screen I remember wherever you are you are fully there, 100%, all your body, mind and soul. Your facial expressions and mannerisms. Your glorious, spirited, quirky, self. I miss you, all the pieces and parts of you, that make up the whole of you. So though you can’t have a space on my sofa, I want you to know you take up so much room in my heart.
In my life and work I have been with children, young people and adults who always need to communicate differently, in creative and personalised ways. Those who care for them find endless, innovative, meaningful ways to enable communication, and I don’t mean moving from a powerpoint to zoom. I mean music, or sensory objects, or colourful light, or hearing and touching nature. Deep listening, attentive watching, being alongside, absolutely cherishing the company of one another.
All this reminds me to cherish what we love most about each other, no matter what the limitation and restrictions on how we can communicate. There is a song called Fall On Me sung by the father and son duo of Andrea and Matteo Bocelli. They sing ‘Fall on me, with open arms. Fall on me with all your light’. May this be our song to each other. Because we may feel like we are freefalling through time and space. We may be lacking open arms to catch us. All we are left with is light. From wherever we are, we radiate out beacons of light to those we love. And we rest and are restored, in the rays light which come to fall on us from those who love us.
We have so little of each other now, but may we still fall on each other with all our light.