ON CONNECTING

Sometimes, people come into your life by surprise, and without the making of any efforts, you lingeringly find yourself bonding instantly with them. The click seems so natural. It’s the giving and receiving of anything more meaningful than the shallow pieces we tend to share with everyone else. The connection of similar energies, opposite stories, and intermingled mysteries. This kind of people makes you find yourself in the most magical, vulnerable and mind-blowing of ways. — Jan. 2019

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Connecting in such a way has long been a battle for me. Perhaps the struggle was due to my lack of socialization or excruciating shyness. Perhaps now it is merely a result of my absolute lack of effort in attempting to bond with people around me. Something so desirable that I felt I desperately needed to attain. I was seeking connection so hard, which is the reason why I turned to art. For in art, there shall be authenticity and the complete giving of oneself, which ultimately leads to conveying emotions and thus bring connection. Indeed, art is all about making connections. Therefore, we talk about the books we have read with one another to build friendships and we use songs to feel like we belong. One acutely needs to relate to something, someone.

***

Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”

Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?, 1897

***

But what does connecting truly mean? Is it getting to know someone on a deeper level, being able to understand and feel empathy towards them? In that instance, it requires trust and the demand for meaning. For connection, above all, signals meaning. How easy is it to rise above the plain discussions and feel comfortable and confident while conversing about life’s deepest questions? Is it about being too selective and picky? An outsider even?

Connecting is thus showing your soul, shamelessly and proud. It is getting naked about who you truly are. Connecting is being fully honest. There is no restriction permitted. No veil accepted.

Then, if connecting is a core human need, why does it seem so difficult to reach, on a daily basis, for some people? Are we aiming too high, solely seeking meaningful interactions? Or are we merely bound to carry with us the burden of solitariness?

BCN, Nov. 2019, GC

Loneliness is a topic I used to dwell upon in my writing oftentimes, which mainly served as a way not to bottle up all the gloomy feelings I kept inside. To put into words the pain that this daunting word brought me almost signified for me trying to cleanse myself from it. And to this day, in spite of some soul-crushing states, whether it is a rather pessimist response or not to simply accept it as it is, there is no answer I could find to the great questions: ‘why do I always feel it so strongly?’ and ‘why I strive for connection so hard?’.

What I know for sure, as Oprah would say, is that life is not meant to be lived alone. There is no purpose to a life endured companionless. This is the reason why we try to connect in every possible way. We sing, we dance, we write, we talk in order to feel or to be heard, seen, visible. We create in order to make the memories matters and we do so to escape the non-sense that life embodies. We want to bond with our peers to purely feel human again, not alone and not invisible ; and sometimes merely sane.

La Rose et l’armure. Antoine Elie.

how do you know when you connect with others?

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