|With thanks to Plaisanter's Flickriver site.|
These are days, it seems, to think about what exactly IS the glue that holds us together, either to maintain a congruity with self or a plural binding of one to another. There is something, beyond gravity, centripetal force, magnets, chewing gum or baling wire, that stops us from dissolving into fragments. Its forms are as numerous as are we who rely on its existence.
At its most exalted it is sticky and honey-sweet, with names like optimism, kindness, beauty and love. It is scent, known to transport us in memory to other realms and times, or words, as used by poets to translate, impossibly, the ineffable into language. It is color or form that jars the heart. It is magic, mostly unintentional, the product of man or nature simply bringing forth what must be brought.
It is experiences shared, even if known in solitude. It is recognition of me in you. It is music, sounds raised in thanksgiving or lament. Perhaps beyond all else it is music.
If I understand anything of the universe, it is this: we are not meant to be divided nor to seek or invent ways that make us unalike. We survive with each other, it is how we will thrive. Our hands reach out to comfort. With vocabulary we soothe and support. In the rock-hard moments we remind one another that there are softer times.
We are the glue, aided by the wonders amid which we sometimes flounder, wonders which lift our spirits, replenish our hope. There is no wonder too small or obscure to be considered medicinally adhesive. It only requires - demands - the ability to illuminate what has been dimmed. Circumstances have been known to abandon us in dark caves and haunted houses of the mind. For me, the image of a rose, bodies of water from a puddle to a fountain, canal, river or ocean, the thought and, one hopes, the taste of dark chocolate, works of art, a hummingbird outside the window, the voice of a loved one or even sight of their name reconnect me to frightened and lost parts of myself. They secure me to a greater circle where light prevails.
This is a gummy business and we serve as human fly paper to one another. As we abide, fastened, we joke, we sing, we listen, we doze. Our thoughts may wander but we, it is hoped, do not. We are tethered for the long ride. That is what's real. Anything else is the illusion.