SIX DEGREES OF CONNECTEDNESS
by Sandra Bark
This one is for Patty, who I have never met. Her home is in California and mine is in New York. We have a person in common, a person who we both love dearly, a person who has impacted our lives. That is why I know about Patty. That is why she knows about me.
The world is amazed by Kevin Bacon and his six degrees of separation. But it isn’t really about degrees of separation, is it? It seems to be more about degrees of connection. Like me and Patty: Two strangers who have never talked face to face but have still communicated, have still connected, have still shared something.
I have never shaken Patty’s hand, or gone to the movies with her, or had dinner with her. But we have still occupied the same space, because we have considered the same ideas, ruminated over the same concepts, even though we have never discussed them in person. We have not walked down the avenue together or gone to tea, yet I have thought about her, and she has thought about me.
This is what I have learned from you, Patty: that the world is smaller than we think. That the human reach is not bounded by time and space. That even if we have never shaken hands, never hugged, never kissed each other on the cheek, we can still touch each other in deep and meaningful ways.
Sandra Bark is a writer who lives in Brooklyn and practices at Mala. PRACTICE MAKES PRACTICE offers a student’s perspective of the yoga experience, on the mat and off.