Meeting People – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Eleven)

As someone who feels like they’re regressing (socially) as they age, or feels like they’re allowing regression to take place where they’d have previously fought it, it’s interesting to feel the positive effects that arise simply from sharing an experience with an ‘other.’ This has happened in quick succession over the last two to three days, and is a surprising aspect of my life.

It’s easy to become insular, when most of my time is spent reading, thinking, and then writing about what I’ve been reading and thinking about. So to be forced into certain social situations where I have to communicate with others is both scary and rewarding.

The examples I have to offer are those where I meet people with whom I have no real obvious connection and/or interests in common (different age, social standing, goals in life, etc.), but whom I instantly feel an affiliation to. Where does that come from, I wonder? I meet lots of people but rarely feel moved, and then in the space of a few short days I feel a stirring in my emotions that just doesn’t usually occur. For instance, today I go to lunch at a stranger’s house, and feel welcome – connected. I wasn’t expecting that. It snuck up on me.


And then there are the occasions where it’s a connection across technological platforms. Virtual connections, e-connections, cyber-connections, or whatever you’d like to insert instead of these. Is the ability to connect with another human being greater than the restrictions imposed by various degrees of separation? It would appear so today as I write this.


About the textual silence project...

...reading, thinking, and thinking about reading... ...and then writing... View all posts by the textual silence project...

2 responses to “Meeting People – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Eleven)

  • Christy Birmingham

    I read this last night but wasn’t logged into WP at the time so I am responding now. Regarding the connection, yes. You see, here’s the thing, Matthew. I craved intellectual stimulation and then you came along. There, here, wherever here really is when we’re online. Thank you.

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