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On hugging, holding and physical human connection

It’s been 78 days since I touched another human. Covid means different things for different people but for me it’s meant isolating alone. In recent weeks I’ve managed to see a few friends from a safe distance but my interactions with friends and loved ones has been largely digital.

I would give almost anything for a hug right now and I suspect the first time I’m able to have physical contact with someone, there might be snotty tears…

In the absence of actual hugs, I thought I’d share a few images of people hugging like they mean it. I’ve also shared one of my favourite spoken word poems by Kate Tempest – Hold your Own. If you are able to hug your people right now, hug them a little harder than you would usually for me. If you’re hug-less, like me, I’m sending all of the virtual hugs your way.

If you’re looking for a photographer to photograph you hugging your family or your wedding when this is all over, get in touch.

hugs and human interaction
When time pulls lives apart
Hold your own
When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certainty
Hold your own
Hold it ’til you feel it there
As dark, and dense, and wet as earth
As vast, and bright, and sweet as air
When all there is Is knowing that you feel what you are feeling
Hold your own
Ask your hands to know the things they hold
I know the days are reeling past in such squealing blasts
But stop for breath and you will know it’s yours
Swaying like an open door when storms are coming
Hold
Time is an onslaught Love is a mission
We work for vocation until
In remission
We wish we’d had patience and given more time to our children
Feel each decision that you make
Make it, hold it
Hold your own
Hold your lovers
Hold their hands
Hold their breasts in your hands, like your hands were their bras
Hold their face in your palms like a prayer
Hold them all night, feel them hold back
Don’t hold back
Hold your own
Every pain
Every grievance
Every stab of shame
Every day spent with a demon in your brain giving chase
Hold it
Know the wolves that hunt you
In time, they will be the dogs that bring your slippers
Love them right and you will feel them kiss you when they come to bite
Hot snouts digging out your cuddles with their bloody muzzles
Hold
Nothing you can buy will ever make you more whole
This whole thing thrives on us feeling always incomplete
And it is why we will search for happiness in whatever thing it is we crave in the moment
And it is why we can never really find it there
It is why you will sit there with the lover that you fought for
In the car you sweated years to buy
Wearing the ring you dreamed of all your life
And some part of you will still be unsure that this is what you really want
Stop craving Hold your own
But if you’re satisfied with where you’re at, with who you are
You won’t need to buy new make-up, or new outfits, or new pots and pans
To cook new exciting recipes
For new exciting people To make yourself feel like the new exciting person, you think you’re supposed to be
Happiness, the brand, is not happiness
We are smarter than they think we are
They take us all for idiots
But that’s their problem
When we behave like idiots It becomes our problem
So hold your own
Breathe deep on a freezing beach
Taste the salt of friendship
Notice the movement of a stranger
Hold your own
And let it be Catching

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