“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.” E.M. Forster – from Howard’s End
I recently had the pleasure of attending a performance of Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Love Songs at the Merrill Theater in Portland Maine. It was a really fantastic show during which Mr Cumming brought the audience along for a a roller-coaster ride of emotion. The format of the show was cabaret style with Mr Cumming regaling the audience with stories in between songs. It was during one of these interludes that he talked about the tattoo on his forearm which reads “Only Connect” and is taken from the E.M. Forster quote printed above. He described how it encapsulated his approach to performing and his belief in making a real connection with the audience. I can certainly attest to the fact that he succeeded in doing so!
As I was thinking back to the show a few days later, it occurred to me that “Only Connect” could quite easily describe my own approach to developing furnishings with my clients. One of the reasons I feel I have been drawn to furniture making is precisely because of the necessity of interaction with the piece. There is, quite literally, a physical connection between the work and the end-user. My goal is to create an emotional connection as well.
I have been very fortunate that so far in my career I have been able to collaborate with clients on so many great projects. There is tremendous satisfaction in creating something that connects with people on both a physical and emotional level.
I look forward to many more connections to come!