Several years ago the British Post Office ran a series of adverts with the tagline “I saw this and thought of you…”
Cue a procession of delirious folk opening mysterious packages in the mail containing wildly appropriate gifts.
Because it was real. Not merely advertising hyperbole.
Last week I blogged a copy of He Sits Down on the Floor of a School for the Retarded by Alden Nowlan ( Cyberhug ) and I can’t get it out of my head. The thrust was that we maybe have a need, in the end, to be simply…held.
I was talking this week with a friend that I know only through our virtual interaction and I postulated that online friendships and relationships are necessarily partial and incomplete. That we cannot escape our physicality. That there is an ineffable pleasure and solace in just being physically present with someone, even in silence, in the comfort of acceptance.
I think I am talking about belonging. We want to belong. And virtual belonging doesn’t quite cut it, somehow.
She said “Oh you are saying our friendship is lacking?”
…which takes loaded questions to new heights so…
No. We have a great virtual friendship. Within the terms of what virtual friendships offer. But they have their limitations.
I like to break bread. Conjure up a feast, sit down at a table and share it. Both literally and metaphorically.
But I digress. Because whilst I suspect I am right about that need for the simple holding of a friend or lover in physical space to feel truly accepted, there is another form of holding.
To be held in mind.
That at least is fully available in our virtual lives. Indeed, our virtual lives may enable its expression when physical holding is impossible or impractical.
And it is a vital complement to any kind of physical holding.
The enemy is indifference.
I saw this…and thought of you.