“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.”
E.M Forster (Howard’s End)
I am a recluse. I spend most of my time alone. I like it. I feel guilty about it, but I like it. I also know that I only like it because I have a husband and sons with whom I connect. I have spent the 5 decades of my life trying to do so with others, with my mother in particular. It has been worth it.
Where I find most connection is in literature. I find my peace in connection with unknown writers who are living and dead, oblivious of me and mine, having the courage or the dedication to put their talents to use, to serve humanity by telling stories that make life worth living for people like me.
Sometimes I find connection in art and music and that too transforms the pain of existence into the glory of being alive, in the flesh, now.
Sometimes the poets bring me their gift of transcendence . ‘Live in the layers, not in the litter’ – Stanley Kunitz.
Sometimes the philosophers, ancient and modern remind me why I live. Sometimes they tell me how. Sometimes I need their help. We all do. Connection, remember what it is. LIve it.