It’s Saturday, I just talked with my two friends Chenoa & Sylvain on skype. Their baby Erwin has been home for three weeks now, she is a very premy twin who has been in hospital for quite sometime. They live in Castleman thus a virtual visit with them was the best option. It is just wonderful to see this couple finally home with their baby and to chat with them while Erwin was considering waking up, streatching and looking for a snack!
Afterward, with a cupa tea, I fired up my rss feeds to see what was new and came across my currently favorite blog, the Kitchen Table. I am learning so much from these two women about US American culture. Their blog is a conversation between Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University and Yolanda Pierce, Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Then I checked out Polymeme, (I can’t recall how I came across this one!) but it is awesome. This is where I found the Kithchen Table.
Polymeme helps you navigate the new networked public sphere and keep your fingers on the intellectual pulse of the blogosphere.
Polymeme helps you discover intelligent content that lies beyond the usual echo chambers of tech news, celebrity gossip or American politics.
Our site uses a unique buzz-tracking approach to identify what’s currently hot in 20 areas, ranging from economics to evolution, and present it to the reader along with all sources that are currently talking about it. Thus, you can track how ideas – or memes – propagate through this new emerging networked public sphere. We would consider our mission a success if we expose you to the maximum number of new ideas on every 100 news items you read!
Today’s Polymeme find was just plain lovely and it brought be to tears. Lately, when I witness the subtlely simple aspects of our humaneness I am overwhelmed. It strikes me at the core of my soul and reminds me of the beauty of what we are and can be, and what we are when we are at our best, our potential. I just get tears. I have no words to express the sentiment, the moment triggers something that is beyond what I can explain, label, analyze, so instead I experience it and try to remember what it was, so that I may recall it, and allow myself feel it and make this a part of my way of engaging with the world, myself and to embody beauty. Last week it was hearing & seeing Romeo Dallaire speak, it was his words, charisma, presence, the knowledge I have of where he has come from, what he has seen, what he is currently doing, the difficulties of that work, his frailty & vulnerability contrasted with the most manly of all contemporary archetypes as an army general, his heart for us to witness.
Today, it was the Touching Strangers photo series by Richard Rinaldi. It was not so much the photos, which are absolutely great, it was the idea that something so essential to our being - touching was mediated, it reminded me of how there are few people I can touch, how few people touch me, how we do not touch each other. I am in many context where touching is acceptable, judo is one, my closeness with my children, greetings and goodbyes, touching someone on the shoulder when you are tryng to get by them, the holding of friend’s babies, shaking hands, helping an elderly person get on the bus, posing for a photo, hugging someone who is grief stricken (which I try not to do unless I touch them in other contexts as I do not want that to be the only touching memory with them) beyond that! No touching. There are some people that I just want to walk arm in arm with, some I want to lean on, in other contexts it is during a conversation, and I just want to lie on their lap with my eyes closed or them on mine and roll their/my hair in my/their fingers. There are some people I want to have a nap with. I am less interested in sexual touching, I am just interested in being in friendship situations where touching is a part of the conversation. And it makes me terribly sad that that touching is something somehow we cannot easily do and how absent it is in my life and how beautiful it was to see Rinaldi’s work, and to imagine how the world would be if we touched each other more, strangers, friends, family and loved ones.