Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Touch

I got the new version of the Ensign today that includes all the conference talks. I always look for ward to this. But this time it struck me how much I enjoy actually HAVING it, not necessarily just reading it - I'm talking about the tactile feeling of a magazine. Its something you can touch and experience in such a human way. The smooth feeling of the cover, the smell of the ink, the rustling sound of the paper as you turn the pages.  There are multiple dimensions to it. You can bend it, roll it up or dog-ear a corner if you like. Or take a pen and underline something special to you. In a way its malleable - you can do what you want with it to make it truly yours.

In this hyper-electronic age its more and more common for us to read words on a computer monitor. There are advantages to that, of course (this is a Blog, for goodness sake!) , but there's also something missing in that experience. Its the touching. Humans need touch - we love it! Its an essential part of our nature. Its so important that if an infant is deprived of touch for very long it will develop serious emotional, developmental, and social problems. Its unhealthy not to be touched.

But in our society we're depriving ourselves of the opportunity to touch and interact in the most basic of human ways. Everything is becoming virtual, electronic, drive through, swipe a card, click send. I can't talk to a fellow blogger and pat him on the shoulder or give him a hug. I can't look him in the eyes or pick up the subtle body language that would occur in a face-to-face exchange. I can't smell his clothes or hear his voice or appreciate the way he smiles. Its a sterile exchange, and leaves me wanting. We're losing touch...

6 comments:

Beck said...

I, too, like the touch of the printed word.

I also like physical touch very much as well... :)

Adam said...

Neal. I just read your recent comment on Gay Mormon Guy's blog and felt you articulated the realities of same gender attraction well and accurately. Your comment took me to your blog site, which I have never seen before. It is past 2:30 am, so I'm too tired to read in depth, but I can already tell from what little I scanned that your blog will be interesting reading and I look forward to returning and reading more.

I was born and raised "somewhere in the South" and share with you the path of living with same gender attraction, but also remaining committed to my faith -- even though at times that presents challenges and even discouragement. I am so grateful to God for never leaving me on my own; and for his loving arms that remain miraculously stretched out to me, even during the times when I struggle. His love and mercy are both humbling and astonishing. I genuinely "stand all amazed".

Thank you for taking the time to consistently write about your life and your faith. That is something I have had a difficult time doing. But that is starting to change as I am inspired by the writing of others like yourself.

I would have e-mailed you rather than write all this in a comment section, but could not figure out how to access your blog e-mail. I'm still pretty much blogger illiterate :-).

Best wishes,

Adam

madafonos@gmail.com

Neal said...

A study was done at a French cafe using a hidden camera. They filmed friends (not lovers) of the same sex having lunch together, and counted how many times they touched each other during the conversation. They also tracked the nationality of each pair.

The Italians touched each other the most - putting hand on hand during the conversation or touching an arm, etc. This happened like 40+ times. French were next most "touchy" with something like 30, and so on, til it got to Americans - who were dead last. Number of touches? 2 or 3.

We've lost something as a culture here in America. We're becoming too macho, too disconnected, too touch-averse. Its unhealthy.

Quiet Song said...

I love the beautiful picture accompanying this blog post.

Neal said...

Adam - Welcome fellow Southerner! Thank you very much for the compliments. I just try to call 'em like I see 'em! :)

I also feel blessed and, like you, am amazed at the Love and condescension of God.

Thanks for stopping by. My email is realneal2@gmail.com

Neal said...

Quiet,

Glad you too like that picture. One of my all-time faves..