Touch Awareness; Deepening Connectivity in a No-Touch World
I live alone, have no animals, no family that communicates, no physically close group of friends. I have always worked. Clients, students and colleagues have always provided the primary connections in my life. For 38 years, at the end of the day, I have wanted to be alone with no responsibility to communicate after all professional responsibilities and communications were finished.
So here we are; Covid- 19 pandemic. No clients, no in person students no in person professional responsibilities. I am lonely. I am having to work hard at staying connected to myself and to the world.
Living in the middle of San Francisco and not driving, getting out to nature during the pandemic consists of going to the dog park or the large city park when the buses are running and the smoke from the fires allows.
Connecting with where I am in the moment has become vital. Being aware of my sense of touch as I move through my life and the sensual interaction of simply going from one activity to another is not only vital but a complete revelation and necessary for my sanity.
My current life would suggest that I am not touched. However, my sense of touch is always informing my brain of the intimate touch interactions in my everyday activities if I learn to listen with my body.
If I focus in my body, then as I walk from one room to another, I feel the relationship of my feet to the carpet. When I feel the carpet I walk slower because it feels so good to be in touch with the different textures and temperatures as I go from carpet to cold floor.
If I pay attention as I dress, I have the opportunity to feel the fabric of my clothes as the fabric gently caresses my skin. Is the fabric soft/ is it stiff? Which parts of my body are more sensitive to the fabrics? What fabrics would I rather have a touch relationship with?
Is the air in my apartment cold or warm against my face and which do I prefer? Even to pick up a glass of water is to interact with our sense of touch. Our most encompassing sense
Every night after dinner I take a 4-block walk. My neighborhood is very urban with lots of outdoor dining in combination with the homeless sleeping on benches. Laughter touches my ears as I pass the restaurants and I am touched in my heart as I pass someone sleeping on the street. Sometimes my whole nervous system is touched by fear as images present themselves out of the darkness.
As I approach the building where I live. I sigh and step towards a beautiful weeping, receptive tree being that welcomes my physical touch. I stop, look both directions to see if anyone is coming and then I step close and lay my hands on the welcoming trunk of an old friend of 40 years. Such a ceremony we share as the energy transference fills first my palms then my arms and then if I stay a few moments longer there is only rhythmic pulsations; no hands, no tree.
My feet touching the earth. My hands deeply bonded with the rough bark of this healer waiting for me to touch the beauty of nature on this dark urban street. An ancient soul just waiting for someone to, connect, and bond through deep awareness of the touching relationships in our no-touch world.