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Sunday, 11 January 2009

Only connect!

And so today, I thought I might wibble at length (remember, me and "Short and Sweet" are uneasy bedfellows? Remember... that teacher who said my sentences reminded her of Hemingway? I've never been able to read any of his books since... Scarred, moi?), about something else that is close to my heart; A very powerful message that concerns, 'Only connect'...two words which form the epigraph to E. M. Forster's novel, "Howards End".

For me, no matter what the critics might say, these words concern the levels at which we choose to connect with and to others... Good connections with others are fundamentally important to our health and wellbeing, non?

Recent research showed that when babies were deprived of eye contact, connection, with their mothers/carers, they themselves became withdrawn and more isolated as a direct result of the lack of intimacy and maternal attachment... So, if we fail to connect well to others, we are setting a store for ourselves of isolation, loneliness and failure.

Am I alone in feeling very uncomfortable when I interact with others in 'real' life, and if you know what I mean, their shutters are up, (i.e. they are closed to me, and probably others). shutters Pictures, Images and Photos

The thoughts and feelings behind 'Only connect' have also been linked to this research: Source: http://web.mit.edu/gtmarx/www/connect.html . May I quote?

"Within the world of Howards End, E. M. Forster and his characters struggle with the dilemmas of making connections in a Victorian liberal-humanist period that preceded the First World War. While the epigraph "only connect" suggests a positive imperative for making ties, it also implies despair for the difficulties of making those connections. His story weaves in and out of the tension between ideological visions of connection and the obstacles created by an often hostile world.

Howards End Pictures, Images and Photos

Howards End:
howards end Pictures, Images and Photos

The tension between context and ideals remains salient in an age of electronic information. There has been much excitement about the Internet's potential to facilitate these "connections" which are discussed in tandem with an equally amorphous concept of "community." The complexities of contemporary societies and the nuances of computer-mediated community building suggest these new forms of connecting may offer a different social web than we have seen before".

Connections Pictures, Images and Photos

EM Forster Pictures, Images and Photos

So, here in Cyberspace, it is mooted, we inter-react with one another, we find similarities, and explore connections; We make firm friends, and we share comments about diversity, commonality and serendipity, love and even fate.

I think what E. M. Forster explored in his novels is as important to us today in the digital age, as it was at the turn of the century... I wonder whether our inter-reaction via comments and remarks, shared links and messages makes any less of a connection for us than were you or I to meet up in person; Were our very souls to reach out to one another and were we to have real life discourse and eye contact. I think not... Connection on all or any levels is vital and life-giving...

Connections made in Cyberspace, in Hollyblogland, are as real to me, and others, and are as treasured as many of the contacts that we make in the real world - where people practice pleasantries, cruelties and harassments every day, non?

Oh, I digress, and I seem to have slipped into a very serious diatribe on the human condition here. Not quite what I might have planned, and I will endeavour in the future to make more connections with, and humour from, my family, our friends, my learned colleagues (once I actually return to work next week, after nearly 3 months' sickness absence!), and our muddled and muddied lives!

Passage to India Lounge Pictures, Images and Photos And so, not to be outdone by Braja's picture in her most recent fantabulous blog of the back end of an, albeit beautiful, cow, Fhina offers you the beau hind quarters of an elephant - apparently connected to the Passage to India lounge bar!

(Please note the E. M. Forster connection, I shall be setting a test, asking questions and offering top marks, even a gold star later, to those who have followed this wibble to its inevitable, and yet perhaps unexpected conclusion).

One last point, re family connections; As we chart and map our loved ones, and perhaps in some instances, not so loved ones, over time: My Ancestors Pictures, Images and Photos

It is said that you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family... Some of my readers will empathise with that sentiment, although to be honest, I have been very fortunate in my blood family relations...

Nevertheless, each day, in spite of the love we might, or might not have with our siblings, out-laws and parentals, we continue to seek out kindred spirits, sisters, meetings of minds and common souls... do we not?

And in order to conclude, I attach a picture of Howards End, Hatteras. Howards End Hatteras Pictures, Images and Photos

Because it is beautiful and because you and I could probably sit for hours, pondering connections, friendships, fledgling and otherwise, and we might even moot on the meaning of life...

May I at this point take the liberty of quoting many TV footballing pundits, because neither they nor I have all of the answers, "At the end of the day, Gary", what do I know?! Alan Partridge Pictures, Images and Photos


La Belette Rouge said...

Really beautiful post. I think it is so interesting the idea that ey contact and the mothers gaze is what creates our capacity for connection and yet connections made via the web/blogging/etc. can feel more real and more connected than the connections that we make with people we can see. Really interesting paradox. Lovely food for thought.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

La Belle, you say it all in a few words, while I use, and probably also abuse, so many words!

Bless you for grasping my meaning when I sometimes struggle to make sense!

I know we have connected...

Braja said...

Show off.

Nice post :) Really.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

where did it go..l left you a commnet last night and its gone??? oh ..the ether!!

Anonymous said...

Yes,yes! Without connections we are islands, isolated and alone and there lies madness. I feel the links that go back to the primeaval slime and see my line going on through my children and their children's children. The jolt in the spine when eyes connect and baby fingers touched my face. And I feel strangely connected to my blogging friends, scattered throughout the world, anonomous yet as familiar and important as family.

Mad Asthmatic said...

Connecting to others is as an essential part of human life as is breathing. A smile from a passer by gives such pleasure. Eye contact across a crowded room can make the heart quiver.
EMForster, I haven't read Howard's End for ages, It has just gone on the re-reading pile.

Came over from Stinking Billy's blog.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I am getting very frustrated I just left another long comment and gave another verification code and it just went blank and didnt appear ...or do you cehck them first? Grrrr hoy vay!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I shall try one more time and will save it before l confirm send..

I wanted to express how beautiful your mellifluous prose is creating wonderful imagery and thought provoking words.

Are the images yours or are you borrowing them from Mr Google? I love the Howards End, Hatteras, really FAB...note the colours through each window is a sligthly different hue, or perhaps its my pc....

anyway, I would like you to come by my blog and take a 'Soulful Bloggers' award from my sidebar...you deserve and just missed my new years honours...the next wont be till birthday honours until the summer.

I'm so glad we met and that you've arrived with such panache, life and dulcet tones.

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves..

Saz x (FFF)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Braja: Even an insult from you makes me feel as if I've received a compliment from your worthy mind!

Moannie: Bless you for understanding, and saying more than I possibly could - Very beautiful writing about what it means to be a mum/mam/mom - Thank you!

MA: Anyone who graces the saintly Billy's portal is more than welcome here! For we are one harem after all!

FFF: I sent you a comment today about being 'on the ether'... My body is a temple, albeit a ruined one!

No, I don't vet comments, I am hoping 'spam' is just something in a Monty Python sketch...

You are a real treasure and it's writers like you and all those who've left me lovely comments recently who keep us newbies going! Your blog is one of those which makes me laugh out loud, and feel less alone in my ditziness, dorkiness, weirdness (sorry!), and chaos!

As for the graphics, my former colleagues joked that my middle name was "Google", though I have mainly used Photobucket to select what I feel are suitable, and occasionally witty, images...

I found with the Howards End, Hatteras, picture that it does not really do the view justice, as the formatting on Blogger makes the picture smaller and thinner than it was in reality, if that makes sense? I rarely do! really FAB...

Bless you for the award - I shall be going into a crying jag any moment soon, a la Golden Globes Acceptance Speech! I really am very charmed and most honoured.

Today has been a 'mare of a day as I went through an MRI Scan on my back and didn't actually think they were going to let me out of the hospital - conscious, it was so bad, but I live to fight (mainly write) another day... Or at least until I see the consultant! Ooer...

Something I wrote earlier...

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