Blend or merge surface? neither work

Hi! Attached is a handle I created. I want to get rid of the obvious line and change in shading between the top handle portion and the bottom attachment to the bag. I’ve tried Merge, Blend and Join Surface and none work. If I try to join, it tells me that the surfaces are too far apart, but they actually share the same parent curve at the seam. Thanks in advance for any help. Figuring this out will help me again and again.
handle.3dm (297.0 KB)