At all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. Our soul abhors a vacuum. At all costs it longs for contact – Hjalmar Soderberg, from Doctor Glass.
It was good to meet up with Mike again. I have known him from my days at North Tyneside and we make the effort to catch up every so often. His wise words are good for my soul.
We met at the coffee shop in Pink Lane, the first time I have been there since lockdown and only my third sit down and chat since the start of the pandemic. Oh, how I miss them. It’s just not the same talking to people over the phone or through video conference. The coffee was good as well.
We sat diagonally opposite each other, trying to keep as socially distanced as we could, though I confess I forget the rules these days. Everyone seems to make up their own version anyway and so I do what I think is right.
As we spoke, we used our hands to add to our content. Our facial expressions visibly changed as we listened intently to each other. Our conversation was peppered with a myriad of almost imperceptible changes in our bodies which we intuited. Even the pauses between speech had a fresh meaning.
It is so obvious that we converse much better when sitting with someone. There are some things that you can only communicate in each other’s presence, a knowing look, a raised eyebrow or a sense that something else underlines the words that are said.
It is the same with my granddaughter. She can’t speak yet we can communicate well, not complex concepts but feelings of warmth, love and happiness.
However much technology we have, I am still sitting down with friends to chat. Conversation is an essential part of what it is to be human and, at all costs, I long for contact.