Remember the Beatles’ song lyric: “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends”?
Well, yesterday again I was blanked for a post. (I must be in some kind of slough, because this is the second consecutive time, after almost a year of free-flowing ideas.) What’s more, I didn’t even feel the energy needed to search or re-search anything.
Then an e-mail message came in from a blogger I follow regularly. I read her blog, as she reads mine, and we often exchange comments on the contents. But we don’t usually send personal e-mails — we’re blogging friends, which has its own parameters.
This time though, Stef (of the delightful Smile, Kiddo) had a personal message for me: She’d received a magazine in the mail and was making her way through it when she came upon an article that made her think of me, and so she was passing it along. The article was from Tricycle magazine, a publication I was familiar with back in my more actively Buddhist days, and included this quote from features editor Andrew Cooper:
Although E. M. Forster could hardly have intended that the epigraph to his novel Howards End—‘Only connect’—serve as a two-word distillation of the Buddha’s teachings, it certainly is a good, and timely, one. To connect across the differences that divide us; to connect by building bonds of affection, understanding, and support; to connect in the recognition that we and all things are inextricably, well, connected— in our age of accelerated travel and instant communication, doesn’t this simple phrase offer us a promising touchstone for Buddhist practice? Is not connection with others one of the surest ways to loosen the bonds of self-concern and to find one’s best way to act in the world? It is, as well, a wonderfully economical description of the basis, the means, and the fruit of the Buddha Way. Our differences do indeed matter, but they don’t matter as much as this: Only connect, and, in Forster’s words, ‘Live in fragments no longer.’
Look at all the fragments coming together in that one e-mail: my running dry for a post, my abiding interest in Buddhism, E.M. Forster and his epigram for Howard’s End, “Only connect” (which also serves as my inspiration and slogan for this blog), and most important of all — Stef’s care and concern for me, that is, her connection with me.
Here’s the post then, to testify to serendipity, and here’s to friends, blogging and otherwise! What would we be without them?