Raving Rant - originally written June 2020
This feels like it might be a long one, post that is.
I temporarily "lost it" a few days ago. While there is a personal side to that story I do not wish to share - the moment compounded everything about this entire experience in space and time and physical distancing.
I think if I saw my father and I wasn't allowed to hug him I would just simply fall apart in a puddle on the ground.
A good friend of mine, who would let me into her boutique clothing shop for conversations and girl talk before her store was allowed to officially reopen, said she and her husband chose to sleep in separate bedrooms because they could not afford for them both to get sick should anything happen. He was in charge of grocery shopping. She said she cried frequently and her daughter would hug her daily. It is how she survived.
A dance colleague posted a number very specific movements on how to stimulate the brain and create physical sensations when one is deprived of touch. Cross lateral movements were on the list. There was another publication on how to "self stimulate." That list of activities included actions like rolling in the grass and walking barefoot.
I share with you the video “Sensation of Rain.” Self stimulation and dance. Creativity and life affirming.
It is like the world is out of 'touch' in a million ways.
More and more studies are coming out about touch deprivation. I am not surprised. Studies were done eons ago. I watched a film in college about babies in orphanages and that they did much better if they were held and rocked than just left in a crib. Even now, there are volunteers who go hold the premature babies in NECU because it is so important to be held when you are first born. Rocking back and forth (one of the tasks!) A head lies upon a chest. You hear the heart beat, a steady rhythm of life. Sometimes science seems frivolous when common sense should tell someone of course touch is important.
The subsequent videos I took for “Touch” show glimmers of joy, of spark. I find myself looking for as many ways as possible to caress, touch, whisper, blow raspberries (please tell me dear reader you know what that is), twine my hair in my fingertips, I am very aware there is only a camera. Nothing else and that perhaps the person on the other side will eventually see and respond.