The sense of touch is the highest valued sense in my own hierarchy. Yes, as a passionate music lover, hearing is definitely critical, but nothing moves me on a fundamental level like touch. Yesterday, I was the recipient of two instances of sensory bliss. My best friend just happens to be the greatest hugger I know. I could subsist for days on nothing but hugs from her. And, I have known great “hug artists” in my life, so this is no small feat. Have you ever received a hug from a “lean-in” hugger? Bleah. It’s like shaking hands with someone who has a weak, limp grip, only worse. It’s like hugging concrete – it’s so shallow and meaningless. Fortunately, she offers a tight grip hug, full of warmth and friendship – one of those hugs that communicates as much as any word. And yesterday, she threw one of her best at me. It was warm, lingering, tight, and everything you want from a hug. It was an “out-of-body-experience” hug because of the kindness from which it arose. Pair that with the friendly hand-holding of a few weeks ago, and you have the makings of someone who “gets” the fact that touch is so important.
The other instance of bliss was special in another way. It was short, simple, but oh, so intoxicating. A kiss on the cheek from a very attractive woman with whom I spent the afternoon in cultural pursuits and insightful conversation. When we first met, I worried that a lack of common threads might hinder us, but have discovered to my delight that delving into who she is and exploring the breadth of her experiences is an addictive experience. And then, before she left, she leaned in and kissed my cheek. Such a wonderful little surprise and such a beautiful small step forward. You could not have erased the smile on my face. I must have looked like a little kid, because I am sure I blushed like one. It felt glorious.
The soft flutter of a kiss
Brushed against my rough stubbled cheek
Like the landing of a finch among the thorns.
It made me spin inside myself
As if I had been swept up in a cyclone.
How peculiar that something so ephemeral
Can wield such power.