Prose by Wayne Visser
~ Only when touched do we truly come to our senses ~What are some of your fondest memories? Chances are, they were when you were touched in one way or another. Do you recall the soothing touch of your mother, brushing away your tears and kissing it better? Or the touch of your lover, gently caressing and passionately intimate? Or the touch of your child, hugging you tightly and saying I love you? Perhaps it was even the considerate touch of a stranger, taking care of you when you were most vulnerable? Not only is touch one of the five senses, it is the one we cannot do without. Babies who are not touched die. Adults who are not touched die inside. We all crave a loving touch. It makes us feel wanted, looked after, comfortable with who we are. Untouchables are the outcasts of society, condemned to live forever as subhuman. Solitary confinement – being beyond the reach of others – is the ultimate punishment. Of course, touch is not just physical. When we say someone or something touched us, we mean that we are moved, emotionally affected. Touch is the language of the heart. Our loved ones are usually those who touch us most deeply, touch the places we most shield from the world, the sides of ourselves we hide for fear of rejection. Touch is the antithesis of rejection; the essence of acceptance. We often say, especially during times of crisis, hardship or tragedy, that we need to reach out to others. For we cannot hope to touch someone unless we are not prepared to reach out to them first. Sometimes, we have to reach through pain, bitterness, anger, resentment and fear. But when we do, touch has the power to melt our frozen attitudes, to thaw our chilled emotions. We all have the power of the healing touch, which is often the first step on the road to recovery in an ailing relationship. One person can initiate touch, but only two can sustain it. The magic of touch sparks best when it is mutual, reciprocated. Therefore we talk about staying in touch with our family and friends. We touch others through communication. Touch is a two-way exchange, a flow of energy. When we lose touch with someone, or are out of touch with our feelings, there has been a short circuit, or a disconnection from our power source. Paradoxically, someone who we regard as being out of touch with reality we call slightly touched. Perhaps we simply mean that their connection is to a source different than our own, outside the grid of accepted norms. Not all touch is the same, which makes it all the more special. There’s the woman’s touch – that nurturing influence so much needed in the world and in our lives. There’s the Midas touch – the knack some people have to attract good fortune. What is your unique touch? In what way do you change those you come into contact with? What mark, what impression, what pattern do you leave behind? Throughout your life, and this very day, you will be leaving your special fingerprint on all the people, places and things that you touch. It is up to you whether you leave a trail of fond memories or of criminal evidence. So take care today, for as Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting in the Sistine Chapel reminds us, there is something potentially divine about touch.
Wayne Visser © 2005
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