Yesterday, my eleven-year-old, Nina, was working on an English-class assignment about how writing has changed the world. She was analyzing a text about Mesopotamia, and had to give evidence of the movement from symbols to letters to words, and the effect these developments had on trading and commerce. As I sat with her, thought of how the microchip is altering our society. A thousand years in the future, would some father be sitting with some daughter on some far away planet discussing how computers changed the world?
It seems likely, and equally likely is that we’ll never know how the world will change. What we do know, is that in our current digital-first environment, it is easy to lose the sense of touch. We Tweet, we Facebook, and we Instagram and “stay in touch” without any physical contact. This is our loss. The scientific importance of gentle, physical touch is well documented. For a quick tutorial, take a look at Maria Konnikova’s post on The New Yorker’s website from last year, “The Power of Touch.”
As people who like to cook, we know what it’s like to feel the garlic under our fingers and hold an onion in our hands. This may not be exactly the kind of touch Konnikova was talking about, but it leads to another way of touching people, the metaphorical, loving way. Hand them a plate of warm food, and you’ve reached into their soul.
I am now offering another way to give folks something to hold in their hands. I just opened an online store for my drawings, called Eat Draw Repeat, where you can order fine-art prints on rich, high-quality paper. Let me know what you think, and I’ll send you a discount code. And there’s free shipping through the end of the year!