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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is mail.

Sometimes I wonder if those Biblical authors left out the last bit…the part where God (as he’s booting Adam and Eve out of The Garden of Eden) says, “Let’s stay in touch!”

Humans love to stay in touch…we are practically obsessed with it. Replacing the hand-delivered, wax-sealed and scented missive of more gentile days, the blue-lined stationary and trusty stamp has, in its turn, been supplanted by cell phone, email, and text message. Whatever the form, mail says that someone, somewhere, is thinking of us.

Not that any of these things of themselves are bad…but their ubiquity seems to say that the majority of humans have lost the ability to be ‘out of touch’ for longer than a few minutes, even while driving or shopping. It is as if we cannot stand to be alone with ourselves for very long before we must make a connection that reassures us that we do still exist, and, more importantly, that we are cared for.

Have humans misplaced the ability to feel inherently connected to each other and to that Something Larger? At the risk of sounding religious or woo-woo, we are all fingers on the Hand of Mystery, and can never be separate, never be truly alone or unloved. Mail, in all of its busy permutations, can only be a substitute for this Inner Knowing.

Mail is only…to borrow a phrase from the Irish singer/songwriter, Ned Kelly…“how we touch in traction,” from the song, “Broken Into” .

(Yes, the secret’s out now…cell phones and text messages are my pet peeves.)

“Walking with the Invisible” (oil)

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