6 degrees

This Friday, I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Kenneth Hopkins to Life’s a Stage. Kenneth has quickly become one of my favorite people on the web and an amazing friend whom I can’t wait to meet in person one day.
I think he feels the same way, so give his guest post a read and let him (well, us really) know what you think of these 6 degrees of…

6 degrees

Today as I stepped outside, I saw my neighbor washing his car. Running around him were his 2 small children. As the father rinsed the car, the children got drenched, and by all appearances, they loved it. They ran and danced and smiled with the water pouring over them. Then they helped their father wash the car, and repeated the water dance. It was fun to watch.

This made me reflect on one of my last posts on Kid Stuph. Truthfully, I wasn’t all that taken by my entry. It was what was in my heart, but I was having such a hard time writing, that I didn’t think it would have any effect or influence on anyone. That is, until Milli from Fear of Writing commented on the post. In her comment, I saw something very striking – just how connected we all are. Milli’s comment was prompted by my post, which started when I read Estrella’s post, highlighting J Clement Wall’s writing about her publishing journey, which was posted on, of all places, Milli’s Fear of Writing blog.

Six degrees of separation. According to this theory, we are only 6 introductions away from every person on the planet. I find it interesting that the theory is named for “separation”, rather than connection. What I saw with the kids, and with my post, was connection. Little things that bring us together, often in big ways. I imagine that when my neighbor and his kids reflect back on their life, they will for sure remember the big events – first dates, graduations, etc, but they will also remember little things, like dancing in the water…

Estrella and I discussed the pictures for her banner, and I was immediately taken with the dandelions. I remember as a young boy picking dandelions and using them as “wishing flowers” – making my wish and gently blowing on the dandelion to cast my wish to the wind. How easily the seeds are shaken from their home to be planted and produce in some other place – the same way the actions and intentions of others do for us. My initial thought of dandelions (as well as my words) was that they were too small or insignificant to be charged with so great a task as making the impossible happen. Yet, when I consider them, I see that they are designed to move, to plant, to produce. Our words, our connections, our influence, they are designed in the same way: to not stay inside of us, but to move out, to get planted in others, and to produce, even the impossible.

I think it was no more than a day or two after our conversation that I had come up with a quick poem about dandelions. I haven’t written a poem in years, but the connection with Estrella and the discussion about dandelions produced something in me that caused the poem to be born.

Thinking about the theory, Estrella and I were not connected a year ago, and we were truly within those 6 degrees of separation, but a series of connections with J and Milli caused a connection in us. The dandelions of our lives drifted from their base, and landed in each other’s lives producing both friendship and creativity. The seeds that started our connection were not major, but little things. A comment here, an appreciation there… even the conversation about the dandelions started rather simply, and grew into a much deeper conversation and appreciation of each other and our creativity.

I can’t remember if any of my dandelion-borne wishes were granted, but I imagine that there were many dandelions born because I was willing to help them fulfill their purpose. Similarly, we help each other fulfill our life purposes by being willing to share, letting the dandelion seeds of our life drift into their yard. The good thing is that we are both better for it.
6 degrees of… connection.

Do you wonder where your next connection will come from?


kenneth Kenneth Hopkins is new to blogging over at Kid Stuph, but not to writing. He started creating stories when he was 5 and had the privilege through his life of writing for some pretty great friends.
Kenneth has the honor of preaching the gospel, and loves cooking some pretty unique and exotic dishes in his free time.
He is currently working on his first novel, a story with intrigue, twists and turns, and a nice cast of characters. His goal is to have the book ready for prime time by the end of the year.


Thank you for guest posting on my playground, Kenneth, it’s an honor having you over!


22 Comments to “6 degrees”

  1. That’s the way I look at it too Ken and connection is becoming more and more important. In fact, I’m reading Younger Next Year right now and the premise is that our human connections are one of the keys to holding our youth. You’ve said it another way.

  2. Kenneth, this is amazing.

    This morning Estrella came to my blog and left a comment, mentioning a blog post she was going to edit and then hit Publish on. Since I knew she hadn’t felt much like writing lately, I wanted to come see what she wrote. She also mentioned a guest blog post, but I paid less attention to that because I assumed it would be somebody I didn’t know.

    I haven’t been to Estrella’s blog for weeks – and when I show up, here you are. And you’re talking about a comment I left for that wonderful post you wrote. If there isn’t something magnetic going on with this whole six degrees thing, then I don’t know what :~)

    Actually, i like your metaphor of the dandelion better. Like you, I used to love to wish on those as a kid and then puff and puff and puff! The way you described their drifting process of producing something good elsewhere has me smitten all over again with dandelions.

    Beautiful post. I loved this part best:

    “I see that they are designed to move, to plant, to produce. Our words, our connections, our influence, they are designed in the same way: to not stay inside of us, but to move out, to get planted in others, and to produce, even the impossible.”

    That’s the best gentle argument for writing – and for connecting in general – that I’ve heard in a while.

    ~ Milli

    P.S. I love “six degrees of connection”! That’s so much warmer-sounding – and it doesn’t have the elitist factor of being six degrees away from famous people.

  3. I loved this post, Kenneth. I met Estrella in a similar way. :) I saw one of her flash pieces, then I was asked to do a blog post for a Poetry Month celebration and Estrella was the first person I thought of. Love ya, Estrella! :)

  4. Yes, I love that same passage Milli quoted. It captures the essence of why we write, I think. Sweet image of the kids with their father, too. Even if the participants in that lovely scene don’t remember it specifically, they’ll remember the relationship and love that made such a scene possible.

    • J, it was interesting how naturally that quote came about, as it started as Estrella and I were talking about her blog picture. It just all made sense.

      The relationship and love I saw that day were so evident. There was something so right about the whole thing. I love it when that happens.

  5. It’s my honor to be here, Estrella. Thank you for allowing me to share my dandelions with you, and you sharing yours with me :-)

    • It’s my pleasure entirely, so thank you so much Kenneth for playing with me!
      I love how well your guest post fits with my blog and our friendship (knew I’d love it even before you wrote this). Thanks for being this amazing, my friend, it’s the best to share dandelions with you, an you sharing yours with me.

  6. You’re my next connection….I’m a fan of Milli! Hi there!

  7. Hello Kenneth. Any guest of Estrella is a friend of mine. I enjoyed your post. Where does the Tall Pajama Man moniker come from? Patsye

    • Hello Patsye,

      Thank you for your comments, and it is great to meet you. “Tall Pajama Man”… I wish I had a deep or exotic source for the name, but it is rather simple… My friend J Clement Wall wrote something on her blog, Zebra Sounds about “Pajamas being the new black”. The first thing that popped into my mind was that I must be a tall pajama man. And the rest, as they say, is history :-)

    • Aww, you’re so sweet, Patsye!

  8. Ha! So that’s the story behind the PJ Man! I was dying with curiosity :).

    This post is beautiful, Kenneth. There have been times when I’ve been surfing the web, reading comments, tweets, posts, etc., and I get this overwhelming feeling that we are all One Voice speaking in many colors. Or like snowflakes falling in unison from the same sky. In those moments I feel such a powerful connection, a sense of oneness with all mankind, that I feel my spirit has just expanded to include everything and everyone. It’s quite an extraordinary experience.

    I believe you’re right, and just to give an example of the kind of thing that happens to me all the time…I just read these words this morning by Walter Russell, in The Secret of Light, and I felt goosebumps all over after reading you set a dandelion fluff wish free. He wrote, “The milkweed fluff, floating lazily in the summer sky affects the balance of the whole universe of suns and galaxies. Every part of the universe moves in interdependent unison as the wheels of a watch move in unison.”

    Years ago, I wrote to my daughter that she is an answer come to this world, as I believe are we all. We are all the answer to the prayer of someone’s heart, uttered from the breath of spirit that set the prayer free on a wisp. We lift each other up, ever helping each other evolve into something as beautiful as a shooting star.

    You and Estrella and j are some of my wisp prayers I set free long ago…returned. Thank you.

    • Thank You, Cindy! *big hugs*

    • Cindy, two things you said just resonate with me. “we are all One Voice speaking in many colors”. I love that

      “We are all the answer to the prayer of someone’s heart, uttered from the breath of spirit that set the prayer free on a wisp”. Something for me to remember when I am feeling “less than”. I remember a long time ago, I was in a dead end job, bored out of my mind. Since I was working for a temp agency, I told them I needed something else. They gave me a new assignment that I thought would be great, but turned out to be something I was going to hate even worse. Yet, something in me said “stay”. Long story short, the person training me told me after about 2 weeks that he had just been praying for someone to come in to help him in his life and his search for God, and then I showed up. Connectedness on a higher plane. Amazing… and you… I am just starting to realize how the dandelions I have set free are coming back in you and others I have found in the last year.

      Thank you so much!

  9. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read Kenneth’s wonderful guest post and left comments for him (and me too, though I didn’t want to get him out of the spotlight so I let Kenneth reply) :)
    You’re all amazing friends, thanks for always being here for me, no matter what!

    *group hug*

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