I had an introduction to Nichiren Buddhism today as my friend asked me to join her whilst she chanted. It was an immersive experience to sit with her. The rhythm of the chant (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) washes over me throughout the half hour and though I chose not to chant with her I felt very rooted in the process. There is a powerful vibration of energy between our two hands and I feel strongly that we are resonating together. It was an amazing start to my day. I felt really open and present in the world. Very very lovely.
A lovely moment with a colleague, which of course is followed by a this is what I’m doing and why to the teenagers in my workshop. I’ve said it before but they ask the best questions!
Day 25 and a walk with a close friend who reminds me of a moment that I created in a performance many years ago were I simply sat with my hand in the air and waited for someone to hold it. I remember the feeling of waiting. I remember the sensation through my arm as it sustained it’s position. I remember the moment that my hand was final held. It’s good to remember.
I have noticed of late that even though I am spending only 30mins with people that the quality of time and conversation seems to me to reach a greater depth in that time. I’m not sure how directly the act of touch is impacting upon this but it was an intriguing thing to notice.
Day 20 happened to be the first time someone has asked to do it again. I have no doubt that repetition other than that of the initial action will be part of my process. Already I have two friends who have asked for a monthly commitment each with various ways in which the want to engage with my challenge.
I’m very fortunate to have such open and interesting friends.
An overwhelming week of hand holding and conversations. So much so that I’m catching up on my posts after blacking out in support of the protests against sopa and pipa.
Each new person that I come across allows me to consider what I’m doing in new way. They offer a slightly different frame to look through or a question that sends me on a new tangent. It is a nourishment I am relishing that for me proves the need for touch and connection.
I have been contemplating the little hollow that exist between two hands as they are held together. I have become increasing aware that the palms never fully touch and of the sensation of electric energy that fizzes in the space. Like a trace of each other is being passed between hands. When i started 19 days ago I did not think I would have shared such energy and time with people. My nerves continue but I am also warmed and excited by each new encounter.
Day 15 was a day of change all round in my life even in hand holding. A change of style meant a different kind of hand holding and that seemed to reflect where I was at yesterday.
My partner in day 16 allowed me a moment to contemplate the idea that I have set myself a challenge to connect with another human being everyday. I’m enjoying allowing that idea to resonate in my consciousness. It is a good thought to come back to. I hope that this may held me not take for granted these shared moments.
I discovered an interesting fact about myself on day 13 that I had never really paid attention to but perhaps have always known. I notice other people’s hands. This may sound like an obvious statement considering my daily practice however I don’t think I had realised how much I remember about people’s hands. Small details that others would perhaps notice about faces I notice about hands.
Day 13 was also my first encounter with someone how felt they couldn’t hold my hand. The concept being too much for them in that time and that place. We talked about what this was about for them. It really clarified my position on this being an action that challenges me and not about others having to push themselves for my benefit. I really appreciated her candid nature. I would have hated if she had forced herself to hold my hand in a way that was stressful for her. i hope that we can do it at another time when it feels right.
The not holding of one person’s hand led to a moment of holding hands at a friend’s Hen party at a time that feels hugely appropriate. 30 minutes of temporary unity amongst a bigger celebration of a bigger union. Had a poetry about it even if it did grow out of some mutual reaction to the alien environment we found ourselves in.
Day 14 provided me time to continue my enjoyment of the walk whilst holding hands. It was accompanied again by a candid and open conversation with a newly found friend. I am finding these moments more and more refreshing in my day. They offer real insight into other people that is ultimately reflected back on myself through listening.
2 weeks in and I already feel nourished in a way I would never have imagined. The nervous apprehension is still there but it is being used in the best way to propel me forward. I am very thankful for all who have indulged me so far and all who have contacted to say they would like to be involved.