touch involves the permission to feel, and as a form of communication can reduce stress, alleviate pain and anxiety, and translate unspoken words and silence into understanding and compassion.
one of my most cherished memories as a child was the coming and going of family. For with each hello and goodbye there was a hug, a peck on the cheek, a kiss-kiss, a pat on the shoulder, fingers entwined, brushing of a cheek. In the longest of embraces, warmth and love passed filling the air in between. there was a closeness of souls.
there was touch.
Save the double and triple hello kisses among my European friends, i find myself less exposed to the benefits of touch, as if it is disappearing from my every day life. When I do observe its presence–in the passing of strangers, small groups of friends, couples, families, special events–i find myself wondering if touch is becoming extinct. Will it one day be an illusion, its only proof found in archival video footage from old movies and photographs?
i sometimes think that touch, once a necessity has become a commodity–it is on these days that I feel like I am on an island, detached from everything. For me touch is an anomaly, rare in its occurrence… an occasional hug from a friend, a kiss on a cheek when friends or family come together, the constant of a lapcat.
I forget what it feels like, the genuine sincerity of hugging among two or more people, the cuddling. kissing. embracing. loving. of life.
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