(Dis)Connected

This past week I was talking to someone about how today offers the illusion of connection by offering so many different platforms, just to cover the fact that we are more disconnected than ever. I am struck daily by the egoistic drive in each of us to just regard ourselves as the most important, with the highest and most immediate needs. I wonder when we turned off the sensor that alerted us of suffering or joy of the one that is humanity. A longer while ago someone told me or I read it somewhere that the end of the world really will happen when there is no longer a trodden path between neighbours. Hmm, we can’t be too far. The beauty of it all is, it is within us to turn it around: we just have to look into each other’s eyes. Really look.

Here is a poem from one of my faves, Mark Nepo:

The Way Under the Way

For all that has been written,
for all that has been read, we
are led to this instant where one
of us will speak and one of us will
listen, as if no one has ever placed
an oar into that water.

It doesn’t matter how we come
to this. We may jump to it or be
worn to it. Because of great pain.
Or a sudden raw feeling that this
is all very real. It may happen in a
parking lot when we break the eggs
in the rain. Or watching each other
in our grief.

But here we will come. With very
little left in the way.

When we meet like this, I may not
have the words, so let me say it now:
Nothing compares to the sensation
of being alive in the company of
another. It is God breathing on
the embers of our soul.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

Ultimately,
we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,
we are asked to experience
meaning in the life that moves
through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere.

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