touch

So, a captain off the coast of France flings his anchor into the sea and suddenly I’m unable to do yoga.

A conundrum unique to this interconnected modern world of ours.

I do yoga online – I pick and choose from hundreds of different classes or teachers and can do it whatever time I like. It’s a wonderful indulgence and something I treasure. But this man, in his boat, happened to drop his anchor right on the spot a major fibre optic cable that runs under the sea bringing me access to millions of websites across the world.

So, the internet is slow and dragging. The bits of information I need bleed out onto the sea bed, lost to me.

Perhaps there’s a wily shark out there who knows something I want to know. Perhaps a clever little fish is now swimming to a different beat than before. Information is power, even the unadulterated, skewed and sometimes strange stuff we can garner from the vast web. It stretches the mind, sifting through all that’s available and settling on your own version of the truth.

How wonderful, what an adventure to see for a moment into the mind of someone else. Whatever is written, offered to the world, no matter the guise or style or intent, all those bits leave a slight touch of the originator.

A man writing about how to build a staircase reveals his careful nature; a woman writing about good birthing practices hints at her need for acceptance. And so it goes. Even scientists, trying so hard to appear objective, expose their true colours. So too, corporate information has hidden secrets; a wistful twist that reveals a managing director’s longing and the copywriter’s frustration.

To connect with humanity in this way and to glimpse the utter humanness of every person, to pick up on their vulnerabilities is such a privilege. People are so intricately beautiful – simple in their complexity.

I love fleeting moments with people, catching someone’s eyes in a crowded space, taking in everything in a few seconds – seeing their desires, insecurities, joys and failures by the slope of their shoulders, the lift of a chin, the style of shoes and where the heels have worn down. I am often amused at how much of myself I reveal in quick moments. If anyone is truly watching, I know my soul is often laid bare.

But not many people are watching. We’re too busy moving and not understanding connections, consequences. This anchor-yoga incident has brought me to a strange place of trying to imagine the many tiny and seemingly inconsequential happenings that impact so extraordinarily on things not seen. Like the butterfly wings that spark a hurricane forever away, whatever we do has an impact somewhere, on someone. Sometimes it’s the person sitting right next to you, but other times is someone a world away.

Wonderful to be so intimate with humanity. Wonderful to know that no matter what, you actually aren’t alone and never will be. Your smile, a subtle movement of lips and eyes, could change the life of a passing stranger. Try it. Let delight and recognition dance across your face, make eye contact with whoever you meet and take joy in the knowledge that your actions, your moods and your thoughts will have rippling impact on the world, all of it.

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