Our buddy Ryck, Caminoheads Puget Sound Bureau Chief.
(photo from R Tompson)
Burgess Merideth/Rod Serling, and the need for human touch.
Man, what a year, eh? Aren’t we all appreciative right now for having already hiked the Camino? I am very sad about those that were just getting started on their pilgrimage. I feel for the albergue owners, the country of Spain, America, the world. Truth be told, I support strong borders, however, I realize that borders and nationalism cannot stop a human problem. I went to the grocery store today. I looked at the hand sanitizer isle, gone. All gone. I could not help but think that it was unnecessary. Is it really better to make sure we are all blanketed with certain benefits, simply from being a human? Not getting political here, rather, trying to figure out the human construct.
In one way, very much so, I am realizing, forcefully, how the concept of world community is essential. What else could be presented to us for to not realize that everyone is connected in some way shape or form.
I have been thinking of the Second World War. A common enemy. A need to be efficient, living within our means. Resolve. This is the same feeling I had when 9/11 happened. I think we all feel that right about now. The difference being that the enemy is one for all humans, there is seriously no bias.
What do we truly value? Truly. It is human life, is the rest of what we value a means to an end?
The age of the internet and social media seemed to have brought about the bi-product of social distancing in itself. Ironically, when social distancing is now being enforced, it really is the opposite that I personally crave. I never realized how much I actually craved human interaction, the non-digital type. I never realized how much I value the feeling of human touch, to hug someone, to shake their hand, to see them eye to eye. For so long now, I desired the exact opposite. When I retired form the U.S. Navy, Submarine Force, the last thing I wanted was close social interaction. Trust me, I had enough of that…So I left everything, everyone, and I walked my Camino in Spain. I so much needed that alone time. As much as I tried, however, in Spain, the more I tried to distance myself from others and be alone, the more I feel they were attracted to talk to me. Perhaps it was my actual aura. Maybe it was the fact that they just craved the social connection; the human aspect of life. I did capitulate, numerous times, and I am glad I did.
I ended up meeting some of the best people in my entire life. I realized as I walked from small town to town in Spain, how much the Spanish loved the close, personal, family type of environment. You know, when you walked through each town, there was a sort of Piazza? A VERANDA:))…An open square where people just seemed to want to be next to each other, to have that human contact. The one thing I did not want when I initially arrived in Spain was the exact thing I crave right now. We cannot put a price on life. We cannot put a price tag on the human, social aspect of life. As much as sometimes I want to be a complete hermit in a cabin somewhere, prepped to the gills, (Now I am NOT talking Unabomber type…) or on a lone sailboat, endlessly sailing around the world, with my own version of “Wilson” from Castaway on the aft end of my boat next to me, by the till….I know deep down, what I will always crave is the human interaction. The good ones.
We cannot put a price on human touch.
There is a “Twilight Zone” episode with Burgess Meredith. It is the one titled, “Time Enough at Last”. It is about a man that wished nothing more than to be left alone from the noise of the world so he could read all of the books he could get his hands on. Then he gets his wish through horrible circumstance. When he finally got what he wanted, his glasses broke, and he could no longer have what he wanted. He then craved, the human interaction of others…Poor Burgess Meredith….Thank you, Rod Serling.