Connecting Cords

We threw a lot of stuff out.

My father and I were laying siege on the computer desk. It had become disfigured by printer cartridges, paper reams, hotel pens, and faded post-its.

But the thing that took up the most space in the trash bag was connecting wire: headphone jack and USB cords, RCA and high-speed cables. All this plastic rope that linked one thing to another.

We’d upgraded and now all the computer had was a slim piece of filament that disappeared somewhere behind the desk.

The computer was an island connected to an immense world through nearly invisible thread.

In my lonelier moments, it’s a helpful idea.

Rarely can we see our connection to others. The umbilical cord got cut long ago, and there are no plastic ropes linking us to the world.

Those lonelier moments – when we’re unknown at the party, unacknowledged by others, or unwillingly alone in the evening – can seem like we’re separate and apart from the world.

But how the world seems is not always how the world is. What’s visible isn’t all that’s there and what’s there isn’t always visible.

In our short time here, we share the long road with many others. Our footprints are all over their lives, as theirs are all over ours. We are connected, in countless unseen ways, to numerous parts of this immense world.

Those ties that bind – empathy, mischief, shared pain, grace, wild love – defy physical form. And outlast lonely moments and plastic ropes.

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