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A Manner of Speaking Sep/Oct '09

by Bonnie Neugebauer
September/October 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5018904/

One kiss, two kisses. Start left, start right, back for a third. Elbow squeeze. Back rub, bear hug, embrace. High five. Handshakes, secret and known. It was a week of touches, gentle and hearty. Healing — a spa for the soul.

Every two years the World Forum offers me, and each of you, the opportunity to experience days of touch — some of the touches are universal, some cultural patterns, and some are invented on the spot. Just now, looking through the photos of that time in Belfast, it strikes me again how rich that time was and how touched we all were.

It's traumatic to be back in our touch-less environment; the transition isn't an easy one for the World Forum crew. At yesterday's meeting, the false hug starts sizzled through the air, then shriveled. Jonah arrived late so he wasn't there to take us through the awkwardness: "Oh, come on, let's just have a big hug."

Christina Mulligan put it this way: "Lately I've found myself feeling isolated and alone. I no longer dread laundramats and grocery shopping! Why is that, you may ask? It seems that in today's society we are all a little isolated. Generally I go from my house ...

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