If you are an introvert, a part of you might feel validated since practicing social distancing, and perhaps your life has not changed that much. I can relate to this. I generally stay away from large gatherings, and love time spent alone a home. It is how I regenerate. If you are an extravert on the other hand, which is most of the population, you might be having Zoom parties and cherishing your virtual interactions.
Wether you are an introvert or an extravert, not having close and human person to person interactions will affect your sensory system. I am definitely a flesh and bone kind of person, and I do experience a sensory deprivation from the loss of touch, hugs, and immediate somatic information I usually receive in my day to day in person life. For others such as children with atypical sensory professing profiles or elders with demential, this can be a profound loss. Our sense of pleasure and mastery draw from that human well, this is irreplaceable, and the virtual world does not nurture us that way.
I have noticed however, that given the opportunity to stand in the tension of a physical distance with others, I can suddenly experience these relationships from a different angle. I have a newfound awareness that I may have not been seeing and hearing fully and consciously; parts of me are not always present with parts of you, and vise versa. Think of a time when you might have traveled or gone away from your familiar place for a while. In some ways, these experiences are similar. When we travel, relationships and the way we relate to familiar places become part of the transformations we experience in that journey.
So here is another silver lining, At a distance, 6 feet apart, we have the space to ask ourselves if our life is reflecting what we truly want or need? And if the answer is "no", can we hear and see more deeply and widely so that all part of ourselves are engaged in creating this wonderful life? Our sensory world is a rich human well. It is within each and every one of us, and together, we replenish it and shape it one person at a time, one moment at a time.
The ARTrelief Team
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash - Mother and daughter standing on marsh cliffs.
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?