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The Simple Complexity of a Connection

Posted in: Blog by admin on September 23, 2010

June 12, 2010

I just sat down (or I should say “sat up” since I was just sleeping!) to write about one of my favorite concepts in life: the power of connections with people. I had been thinking about the people in my life who motivate me, inspire me and challenge me, and, surprisingly, those individuals are not necessarily the ones who I would call my dear friends. They are just people to whom I am connected. Oftentimes, a connection is synonymous with friendship, but it also can be something so uniquely different …

People can feel a strong connection to someone they never met, to a composer of a classical piece, to a brilliant writer. Isn’t that part of our fascination with celebrities? We feel that we know them, that they would be our friends if they only knew us. I feel “connected” to Charlie Kaufman because his writing has kept me up at night. His movies have turned my thoughts upside down and inside out. He has motivated me to analyze and ponder — to think and to wonder. Yet, I’ll likely never be within a mile of this man, but, still, I am connected.

Then there is that sense of being connected to someone with whom you shared a cup of coffee or a train ride or a long wait in line somewhere. You may never see that individual again, but maybe something was said that resonated within you, that got you thinking, that motivated you, that inspired you, that made you laugh. And, how beautiful is that? If you travel around the world, then you know this feeling on a larger scale. You know how without even speaking the same language, you connected with another being through your eye contact or laughter or just by experiencing the same majestic view from a mountaintop.

Connection. What a concept. What an awe-inspiring concept that is endless in its possibilities.

Irony is another concept I enjoy, and as I sat down to write this post, irony beautifully seeped into my space. When I signed on line, I noticed there was a new comment on a previous post. Upon reading it, I felt grateful, having learned that this person had been moved by me! He (she?) wrote that my words were full of emotion, while also adding his/her thoughts and reactions to mine. It was a great feeling, knowing that I sparked someone’s thoughts about a topic — knowing that this person took the time to encourage me and support me. The irony is that the post was by “Don,” and I’m not sure who Don is … it’s likely a friend of my mom’s, I assume (since she’s been doing what moms do best — sharing my posts proudly with her friends), and it may be someone I am already knowingly connected to — I may just not recognize the screen name. But, the point is this: That person’s comments had an immediate affect on me. And, how cool is that, especially if it’s someone with whom I’m not that familiar?

Well, that is precisely what I had “sat up” to write about on this sleepless night. The way in which we can move one another. It’s especially fascinating to me when the two connected people are not connected by years of friendship or geography or social groups or any of the more traditional styles of close relationships.

There is a man who I hardly know with whom I can say I have a unique connection. Many years ago, we were at a party where we found ourselves dancing freely side by side, both completely lost in the music. Surrounded by all of our friends and even our spouses, we were oblivious to their conversations, their glances, their thoughts. They had filtered off of the dance floor, to eat and talk and enjoy the night. No one else remained but the two of us, and we were jumping and grooving and laughing alone … together. The dance tunes were pumping through the house and through our veins. And we both allowed ourselves to get completely lost in the music. I only said “goodnight” to him — no other words were spoken — as my sweaty, exhausted and invigorated body headed home.

Years later, he has stumbled upon my blog. And, he has commented on it in such a supportive, encouraging way — a way in which a good friend would. I still have never had a conversation with him, yet I feel connected to this person for he has given me that feeling … that feeling of knowing that someone else maybe gets you, identifies with you, appreciates you, or maybe even just simply knows how to wildly dance and let go as you do. Of course, we experience that feeling with many close people in our lives, but there’s something intrinsically cool about experiencing that with a “stranger.”

It reminds me of the beauty in life. The beauty of a connection. The inherent power therein. The knowledge that we are all so different, but the reality that we are, at the same time, all quite alike.

It also gets me thinking. Something so simple. Something so complex. What does it take to feel connected? And what does it really mean? Well, it’s important to know that some of the richest connections are so special because of their unique nature. Maybe you’re connected to someone because you share a love of music. Or of gardening. Or of tacos. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy to be meaningful. But you know it when you feel it. And to feel it and to acknowledge it is one of the more inspiring facets of our days on this planet.

I’m so grateful that I feel all of these uniquely wonderful connections swarming around me, beside me.

So, to those of you who have given me that feeling in my soul — that knowledge that we are alike — that realization that we are connected — that notion that life IS beautiful … I thank you. And, while I’m aware that connections are not always flowing both ways, I humbly hope that I can give you at least a sliver of the priceless joy you have bestowed upon me.

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