Last week a friend text to say Cliff Richard had been on the same plane as him and had sung them all “Summer Holiday” as a special treat. The couple of sentences sent by text message was all it took for me to feel like I had shared in the experience and to get some enjoyment out of it. Later that afternoon, I found this video online and relived the experience.
That incident reminded me of something similar a close friend of mine had done for me over twenty years ago. I was studying at the Open University in Sri Lanka and half way through my Undergraduate Degree, I had been offered a teaching position about 200 km away in Rikillagaskada. I have written about some of my experiences from that time in two of my previous posts (Morning Tea with a Difference and The Humble Roti). It was hard leaving all my friends at University and going away to an unfamiliar area to take up a role I had no previous training for. In the first few weeks I missed them all terribly. One friend who wrote to me regularly in that time, sent me a letter which contained among other things; bus ticket stubs, half a theater ticket, lolly wrappers and a couple of receipts. What he had done was to take the contents of his pockets and wallet for that entire week and write on the back of each of them about what he had done while I was not there. His letter provided any missing details. It was one of the loveliest missives I had ever received in my life. For that brief moment, looking through the remnants of his week, it was like I had been there and done all of it with him.
Thinking about both these incidents I realised that they provided me with a sense of connection with these friends when I was not with them. And sometimes that is all you need to add some light to your day or week. We spend so much of our time going about our daily lives, that we forget at the very core of our existence is this yearning to connect with others that we care about. Ideally we would spend every minute of our waking hours with them to keep the sense of connection alive, but as we all have our own lives to lead which might take us in very different directions, sometimes we can only touch each other for brief moments in time.
I now know at the very basic level of my existence, it is this search for connection that drives me. In all the people I have ever sought or imagined a romantic connection with, in my marriage and even some of my friendships, this is what I have been looking for; the connection to another human being at the most spiritual level you can envisage. And since all of this self realisation is very new to me, looking back, I can see several instances from my past, where I have found that deep level of connection with another person. Those connections did not last for various reasons and my search continues; albeit armed with a bit more knowledge of what exactly I am looking for.
I have read that as you become more self aware and understand what you need more clearly, you start attracting those things into your life. Maybe that was the reason for the intense connection I found with someone I met a few weeks ago. Upon meeting it was as if we were not strangers, but had known each other our whole lives. He too had very high empathy levels and once the mental connection between us was established, we did not have to be in the same place to feel what the other person was feeling. It was uncanny. But sometimes too much of a good thing can turn out to be a bad thing and that is what happened to us. We decided that because of the strength of the connection between us, the practicalities of being friends was too complicated to handle and parted ways. The learning from that experience was that such connections are possible and if the moment had been serendipitous, then my search might have been over……..