Come live with me and be my love
Originally uploaded by pfong.
There's not a lot of good news in the newspaper. Most of what fills its pages is frankly discouraging, and some terrifying enough to ruin your whole day if you imbibe it with your morning coffee.
But if you search hard, there are some cheery bits to be found in the sea of black and white darkness.
Today, for instance, I read that it has been scientifically proven that holding hands is not only good for your health; it's potent enough to actually mitigate physical pain. What's more, the closer the relationship of the hand-holders, the stronger the medicine touch provides. Hand holding by strangers helps, too, but not nearly as much as the comforting pressure of a loved one's hand. Thus, in some way, we create our own "medicine" by the way we relate to others.
The study used married couples who had identified themselves as "close and loving." But when it comes to healing, it's "close and loving" that works the miracle, not the box you check to describe your marital status.
When I was done with the story about holding hands, I turned to the obits. And no, I don't find other people's loss and misery heartening. But I do find great encouragement and strength in a life well-lived--a life like Wendy Wasserstein's, the playwright who died yesterday in Manhattan.
I never met Wasserstein, but like my friends here in the blogosphere, she had made her way into my mind and my life with her words--words that were full of laughter, and questions, and her own brand of optimism.
To anyone who might be feeling a little despondent because they have no close, loving spouse around to hold their hands and massage their neurons, Wendy Wasserstein had this to say:
"No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to get frightened. There's nothing wrong with being alone."
Now substitute the words for whatever frightens you or presents an obstacle to your happiness for lonely and alone and recite those words alone in a loud voice.
There's no study to prove it yet, but I'm willing to wager your neurons will love you for it.