The Silver Thread of Connection

In the past week or two I’ve had unexpected notes from people I’ve met over the years—a student from Oglala Lakota College, a woman from the Chrysalis retreat last summer, another woman I’ve met only twice but who read my novel, Washaka, and found a great spiritual lift from the story. Another woman shares my passion for the Bead People and has been behind several cool projects including 70 Bead People made by her students making a journey to students in Japan.

And then I was reading an interesting bit about introverts and extroverts in the newspaper, some book that has just come out. I’m an introvert and have tortured myself in so many ways to be something other than that. I taught myself to be a public presenter and teacher, I “network” even when my social self would rather be pulling out my toenails. I have tried to build businesses (quite a few of them actually) but usually fall short in the outreach.
Those two paragraphs have something to do with one another. When I meet a person that I connect with and he or she sees me—and I see them—that person quickly takes up permanent residence in my heart. Even though I am an introvert, I treasure real connection and relationship. Milt and I have both admitted that had we not found each other, we’d probably both be gone on to the next life by now out of sheer frustration and loneliness. We don’t need hundreds of “friends” in order to be happy. We need a circle of people who think and relate and shine just like we do.
I’ve been doing workshops for over 30 years working with people in all walks of life. And whether I was training a court system or a sales team or a bunch of nurses, the people in front of me all wanted one thing. Good relationships–especially a mate.
I have sometimes felt so sad that the art of letter writing has died an untimely death. I still have my packets of letters from my mom who wrote me nearly every week just to let me know she was thinking of me.  I have letters from my first love when he went off to school.  And I have letters from Milt when we were separated for a short period of time.  These thin bits of paper are so precious to me. When I got those notes I realized that the art of letter writing is not really dead. These were real letters. I wanted to print them and slip them into a pretty envelope and keep them in my drawer.
So, here is the task for the week. Write to somebody you think about but haven’t contacted for a long time. Write more than an email or a Facebook post. Write what he or she means to you, how you appreciate him, what she did to make you remember her. Let’s spread a little silver thread around to tie us a little closer to each other.  I’ll do the same, starting right here. When you touch in with comments and thoughts, I appreciate it so much. Even if you just take the time to read what I have written, it connects us. Thank you.

As always, subscribe below, leave note, say hello, share with others. And would somebody please turn off the snow in Northern MN? The picture is of my kitchen table, a quiet activity for a snowy day.


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The Silver Thread of Connection — 6 Comments

  1. I have a shoebox full of 44-year-old letters that my hubby wrote to me when we were dating. I could NEVER part with them.

    My son just shared with me about a man he met in Norway who spends Saturday afternoons making phone calls to his business contacts…touching base…checking in…making connection in a real way, rather than through anonymous social media.

    Love the thoughts in this post, and I plan to share it with an introvert I know. Thanks, Jamie.

  2. Hi. We really need to get together. I don’t always get a chance/ aka take the time to read your posts, but I always like getting them. Life is so busy and we fill it up with all kinds of things. But it is hard to be a friend when life is or seems to be so busy. Therefore. Do not have a lot of deep friends. I do have lots of people around me though:) and lots of wonderful family. But not real girl friends. So lets get out calendars. And set a date.

  3. Thanks for your post today. So true about letter writing.

    Yes I highly recommend the “Quiet” book,I am reading it and my 20-year old son took it to read. During my annual performance review, I suggested to my boss that she read it to better understand and appreciate the contributions of introverted employees.

    I’ll bet even though you are an introvert like me you are also a “Connector” like me on Strengths Finder.

  4. I think you have a great idea too Jamie. I am going to write my letter just as soon as I answer my e-mails. Nice to have both options in our world.

  5. I have a trunk full of letters–lots and lots from my parents. I treasure them. Signed . . . another introvert who took way to long to realize it’s not only okay but wonderful to be that way!

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