..an abstraction of experience into different kinds of touchlessness. We experience, as no historical period has before, disembodiment and dematerialisation. The almost infinite connectivity of the technological world, for all the benefit it has brought, has exacted a toll in the coin of contact. We have in many ways forgotten what the world feels like. And so new maladies of the soul have emerged, unhappiness which are product of the distance we have set between ourselves and the world. We have come increasingly to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world – its spaces, textures, sounds, smells and habits – as well as by genetic traits we inherit and ideologies we absorb. A constant and formidably defining exchange occurs between the physical form of the world around us, and the cast of our inner world of imagination. The feel of the hot dry wind on the face, the smell of the distant rain carried as a scent stream in the air, the touch of the bird’s sharp foot on one’s outstretched palm: such encounters shape our beings and our imaginations in ways which are beyond analysis but also beyond doubt. There is something uncomplicatedly true in the sensation of laying hands upon sun-warmed rock, or watching the a dense mutating flock of birds, or seeing snow fall irrefutably upon one’s upturned palm.
~ Robert Macfarlane in The Wild Places