In this blog we are encouraged to hold hands and, while doing so, to talk about all manner of strange things. Lately you’ve been hearing about insomniacs who send you emails, adventures to the island of Barra and perfectly adequate girlfriends. But not today!
Today the perfectly adequate girlfriend is in control!
Much as I enjoy time to think deeply, James could tell you that I operate best in the realms of visual and physical so as you’re holding my hand that is where I’ll take pleasure in leading you…
It’s a strange thing holding hands. My early memories are full of awkward moments of being forced to hold hands in a circle in school, usually when I was next to a boy, Eww! Then of course there are the many occasions when holding best friends hands was a visual sign to others that we were inseparable, at least for that day.
These days holding hands takes on a different form. A tactile person like myself holds hands with close female friends when excited, in need of comfort or generally just agreeing on a topic. I have also achieved a state of maturity when it comes to holding hands in groups, and no longer balk at the idea of holding the hand of a member of the opposite sex should a circle environment cause me to have need.
But something about holding hands still leads you to a strange place. A place where you are vunerable and must momentarily trust another person with the ability to lead you. When you are in a crowd one person may force their way through while you cling to their hand and hope they will not lead you into danger. When I recently lead a lovely blind man around the maze in which I work I was startled to think how much he relied on my humanity. And while exploring Scotland I have had to hold James’ hand and trust him to lead me through a land which I do not know.
Recently while browsing the endless domain of pintrest I came across a series of pictures by photographer Murad Osmann entitled ‘Follow Me To’ (which can be found here on instagram). In every photo we see scenes around the world from temples to bowling alleys all taking the Russian photographers point of view. We also see, through his eyes, the back of his girlfriends head and her hand grasping his as she leads him towards whatever adventure awaits them.
I love the fact that you cannot see her face. He as the boyfriend and we as the viewers have to trust that the girl who is so occupied with her surroundings, who will not look back, is leading us to something good.
I had wondered, now and then, why James chose to name his blog ‘Let’s all hold hands and talk about…’ but now I am in control I realise: if you are truly going to talk about things, to invite people and topics to interact with the opinions you hold, you need to be as vulnerable as if you had given them your hand.