March 25, 2009

The Touch.

I have in the past extensively described how much music means to me. How essential it is with the sound of a melody, in order to make me relax or to just have my thoughts wander in time, initiating a cascade of memories streaming back.

Likewise, there is something very comforting when hearing that someones familiar voice, a sound like no other, to sooth ones soul. Or the laughter of children, the play of a water stream, the singing of birds; it is all so vital to us.

As is the ability to scent familiar scents, whether they are natural or man-made elixirs, that bring on pleasure and relaxation, taking us back in time to places and people we once knew.

The other day I thought about the magic of a touch.

I know first hand how it is to experience lack of it on daily bases. Having a long distance relationship, I feel the absence of someone dear to me constantly. Occasionally, it can bring on emotions of sadness and melancholy and I can only find comfort in the notion, that I am not alone in this situation. I often think of the wives and girlfriends of soldiers or sailors, that are forced to be without their loved ones for weeks, months, perhaps years at a time. Additionally, some of these women live with a fear I can not even fathom.
Despite it all, my predicament is nowhere that extreme.

So what is in the human touch we so need and crave? It can mean so many things, depending on the circumstances; evoking feelings of intimacy, love, affection, care, compassion, comfort, safety, companionship or friendship, aiding in relaxation or pleasure. Proven even scientifically, the touch is absolutely vital to us. Humans already from infancy need to be held and cradled to develop into healthy adults. There is nothing more comforting to a child, than a mothers embrace. To feel the arms of someone we trust around us gives us a feeling of security and safety.

But of course, there is so much more in the touch. Already as children we use our hands to explore the world around us. How could we even live, if our fingers could not explore the texture of the objects we see? The softness of fabrics, the coolness of water, the caress of the wind, the warmth of a sandy beach. We use our hands all the time, almost in every task in our days to interact with other living things as well as our environment.

The loss and the lack of touch must be as devastating, as the loss of any other of the senses.

Here is my personal list of what appeals to the sense of my touch the most:

1) Clean sheets.
The scent and the texture of clean sheets is incredibly satisfying. Especially if the laundry has been dried in the sun - this combination is unique.

2) Warm sand.
I love the ocean and the beach - I love to feel the warm sand between my toes and through my fingers, while watching the ocean and feeling the sun on my skin. A plethora of impressions to satisfy almost all my senses, nevertheless the touch.

3) Fresh soil.
I have listed this previously as my favourite scent, but the texture of fresh soil is my favorite as well; I often start using gloves when gardening and in the end just discard them while I plant my flowers. The richness of the soil between my fingers makes me feel as close to nature as I can be.

4) The fur of my cat.
I love to stroke him, when he is completely relaxed, lying in my lap. Many articles are published on this subject; apparently stroking our pets have vital benefits on our overall health and extend our lifespan.


steviewren said...

The worst thing about living alone is not having someone to touch and to be touched by. I am lucky in that I have children who give me hugs and grandchildren who I can cuddle. But, it isn't the same as being with someone full time.

My favorite types of touch include walking in dewy grass, stroking soft leather and having a good back massage. Clean sheets top the list as well.

Hilary said...

Methinks you're due for a visit from the Irishman.

I love the feel of heat - from the sun, a hot shower, a crackling fire or simply wrapping my hands around a steaming cup of something tasty.

I would think that the sense of touch is the one that remains if/when all other senses desert us.

Great post. :) (Arrange a visit!)

Betsy Brock said...

Yes, the Irishman needs to come for a visit! :)

I love how in-tune you are with your senses. We all have favorites but sometimes don't stop to notice what they mean to us. Clean sheets is a favorite of mine, too...along with lotion on thirsty skin, the warmth of a cup of coffee, heat from the sun soaking into your body, the feel of a ball of dough as you knead it...and yes,...that physical touch of your man...nothing can beat that...the smell of his neck and the sound of his heart beating. Sigh! :)

Donna said...

Yes, I agree with the others, it's time for a visit from your Irishman!

Having someone around that you can touch or feel makes a big difference. When my hubby is not around, I snuggle with my dogs.

Diane said...

Sometimes I feel so shallow when I read your posts :)

It's why I try to get regular massages... I need to be touched and miss it when it hasn't happened in a while.


I like the idea of living alone lol. Only because I like having my alone time so much.... I'm picky that way...

I agree, when I first saw the D&G gown I wanted to wear it and get married all over again!!! haha! :]


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post. Good reading.

Julie Hibbard said...

What a beautiful post.
That is one lucky Irishman...

Shelly's Style Shop said...

Such a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading it! I love the feel of clean sheets and the warm sand too. I also like it when my hubby holds me and when my kiddos give me a hug in the morning before going to school.

xoxo, Shelly

sallymandy said...

Thanks Protege. Lovely imagery. You write so beautifully about the senses.

I'm one of those spouses of an ex-military man who was without him for long, long times. Getting massages helped me. Sometimes it made me cry. You're right, there's something about the human touch that isn't like anything else.

I also have a best girlfriend who gives me these wonderful long hugs, and I love her for that.

Pets and children help too.


Holly said...

I loved reading this post. It was very soothing. I really enjoy clean sheets, and fur as well. I wish you could spend much much more time in the arms of your Irishman. You are going to have to deliver a very good ending to this love saga of yours or I fear many of us (your fans) may go mad. Really, I just want you to be constantly with the person dearest to you.

Zuzana said...

I know exactly what you mean. There are many ways we can experience a touch, but the intimacy with someone we love is priceless.
I agree with you on the dewy grass. Especially on a early summer morning, when you know the day is going to be sunny and hot, but at that point the air is still cool and quiet. That will definitely make my top 10 list.
Thank you for your always lovely comments.;)

you are so right - in everything.;) A visit would be great!;)
And something warm is always a pleasure to me as well; hot showers and heat of a fire, or sun, would make my top ten easily.
Always so very glad when you stop by; your words mean the world to me.;)

ah, my sentiments exactly! The touch and the scent of the man we love is just simply indescribable.
I too love the feeling of a dough; I almost listed it as it was a tie with the texture of the soil.;)
Thank you so much for your very poignant comment.;)

yes, and I agree with you back, he is due for a visit soon.;)
I too like to snuggle with Batcat when I am in need of comfort. The unconditional love on animals is one of a kind.;)

you are anything but shallow.
We all need intimacy.;)
Maybe I should try those massages:;)) Always happy when you stop by dear friend.;)

I guess we always long for something we do not have.;)) Or that we do not have enough of.;)
I am sure once your need of solitude is met, you will quickly miss company.;)
Thank you for always finding the time to stop by.;)) xoxo

thank you so much for your kind comment and for stopping by.;) Glad you enjoyed this post.;)

ah, I think I am the lucky one.;))
Thank you dear.;)) xoxo

I so understand what you mean; the embrace of your husband and the love you feel from your children are priceless. They are these wonderful, brief moments that makes sense of why we are here.
Always happy when you stop by, thank you for your kind words;))

thank you so much for your kind compliment. I am so happy to hear that you enjoed reading this.;)
How difficult it must have been for you when your husband was away; I think I can relate to that very strongly.
How lucky you are to have such loving girlfriends; it is so vital to have people in close vicinity that love us unconditionally.
Thank you so much for stopping by.;)

ah, your words are always soothing to me - reading your comments always makes me smile.;)) And feel all warm inside.;))
So, who is the hopeless romantic now?;)) Or have you been around me too long now.;))
I really hope my ending will be good, but not to worry, updates will follow.;)
Thank you my dear friend for always genuinely kind and warm words.;) They are precious to me.;)

Rosezilla (Tracie Walker) said...

Yes, touch is vital. Really we all ought to volunteer to go give back rubs at nursing homes. I am so blessed to have my beloved one near; we hold hands all the time. Or give each other back rubs or if I have a headache he'll stroke my forehead and it is heavenly.

Hazel Designs said...

I hope you get to hold the hand of your Irishman soon!

Zuzana said...

that sounds so very romantic. I think I can relate to the way you feel when he strokes your forehead.;)
Thank you for that lovely comment.;)

thank you - I sure hope that too.;)))

G said...

Wonderful post Protege. Touch is vital for all good things, including health. I think without it, it might be possible to die of loneliness.

Rosezilla - what a lovely comment! To have your forehead stroked is so beautifully soothing. :)

Zuzana said...

that is so true, we are suppose to be in company of those we love and to be touched by them is vital to our overall well being.;)
I agree with you, I think Rosezilla is one lucky woman;)
Thank you so much for your kind compliments and for stopping by G.;)))

Noelle Chantal said...

Another wonderful post, Protege. I so agree with you about the importance of the sense of touch. A simple tap by a friend, a shake hands from someone or a big high five and even a warm hugs from your loved ones is the best feeling we can ever experience.

And yes, holding their hands gives us feeling of comfort, safety and happiness. :)

Zuzana said...

glad you like my sentiments about the touch we need to experience from others.;) As much as we need to give it.;)
There is something fantastic about holding hands, I agree.;)