Writersbootcampza #4 – One thing I can’t live without

by Roxana Bouwer

A decent share of the travelling that I have done in my life, I have done alone. My happiest travel memories all involve other people. A lack of association means thin, watery memories. Connection widens, deepens life. Like an enthusiastic river speeding its way through dull earth. Creating significance where there was nothing.

I don’t want to live without connectedness.

It’s a universal longing but it’s one that’s as personal as it is collective. It’s also layered.

I have this memory from years ago. I was watching a goldfish in a small tank. Watching and watching – a kind of unintentional open-eye meditation. There’s nothing remarkable about what I am describing but at some point something happened. For the smallest amount of time everything that existed was the same thing. I had the thought: I am the fish.

Are you laughing? It’s to be expected. It’s a humorous anecdote but it points to one of the layers of connectedness I enjoy experiencing in this life. A connectedness to the whatever-it-is that makes everything anything.

Simple recognition is as considerable but in an entirely different way. When you and a stranger share a smile of acknowledgment as you overhear a two-year-old asking their mother inappropriate questions in the queue at Woolworths. It light but worthy.

Life is fun and meaningful because of other people. We allow them to make us feel happy and safe. And we are. If we’re all weaving ourselves into the same web of authentic, vulnerable, unsullied connectedness.