Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello darling, I'm feeling such a strange welter of emotions just these last few minutes. One minute I was feeling elated, and now I'm wiping away tears - don't worry, I'm okay, just - I don't know, just a complicated mix of stuff. It's been a very sunny, very hot & humid day, so I've been lying low, really didn't accomplish much of anything today beyond taking a morning walk at the conservation area and later watering the garden. I've been sitting up in the aerie much of the afternoon, reading with pleasure James Lord's beautifully written, vivid and incisive memoir of his friendship with Dora Maar, who comes alive in his pages. And at the same time, from time to time, I check the blogs I subscribe to (mostly literary feeds) and in circuitous fashion, by reading a feed that linked to a NYT interview with a book reviewer, and following up on a book she mentioned, I discovered a book that I would like to read - title here. I was really happy to learn of this book, and immediately checked to see if the regional library system has a copy - perhaps unsurprisingly, but really it's too bad, it doesn't - emblematic of our culture. It's a memoir of a woman in her 40s (now 50s) who rediscovered her own sexuality, and how it has re-energized and transformed her life and sense of self - has been a catalyst and raison d'etre for re-centering herself. And I immediately responded to that notion - because that's what's been happening with me the last three years, this journey I've been on. And I have felt very alone in it in many ways (with the exception of the feeling of strong close connection addressing my thoughts to you, and finding in you a loving, sympathetic listener). Sometimes I feel like this overgrown wayward child - and so to come across a memoir of someone my age who has been going through a thematically similar experience, is really a validating lifeline. I'm not so alone - in fact I may be quite typical, perhaps the atypical part of it simply being that I tend to express my thoughts in writing - because how else, for me? (It would otherwise be silence.)

I've only read a little bit about the book at this point, but have discovered that the author has a related blog (link here), which I will go back through her posts and read from the beginning...

I'm so glad to sense from her that rediscovering central erotic aspects of herself, from which she had felt severed for a long time (something I relate to very strongly, I so shut off those aspects - suddenly the Poe line "dissever my soul" springs to mind - indeed I did) that she links her reconnecting, reintegrating (in Vitruvian fashion) with lost aspects of herself, that she found it just so healing, rejuvenating, joyful, energizing, bringing out the creative in her - something I've found in myself. It is amazing to me how central sexuality is to that feeling of being fully alive & vital.

It's funny too, because on Netflix these days I've been breezing through an HBO series on a legal Nevada brothel, for a mix of reasons. In part because I've wondered about brothels, what one might be like (any one at all - I don't know how realistic or not this series is, maybe it is - probably better to be a legal sex worker in such an establishment than an (illegal) one anywhere else).

But watching it was depressing to me, a little bit, just all body parts & techniques, and while all giggles & balloons & trampolines & smiles, pretty hollow & loveless. Though there have been a few little scenes that endeared me... one prostitute with her john, the two of them lying on top of the double bed naked, playing - quite seriously - a game of chess; in another episode, a really good looking, and sweet looking too, gentleman who comes in regularly to see one particular prostitute, whom he adores, who he wishes he could ride off into the sunset with if he can ever make it as a musician - there was just something so sweet & old-fashioned about him... I don't know - I appreciated those touches of heart.

What am I going on about? Ah I felt so cut off from myself for so many years - so many I lost count. I think I started the "dissevering" - or no, severing - soon after I got married. Maybe that's why I married D too - he didn't "drive me crazy" - he was always there, not hot & heavy one minute, eyes glazing over with the prospect of some other project the next... Which there is a very great deal to be said for that.

I wonder if you've been through something like this - because the author of this book I've just discovered, while she's describing her own experience as a middle-aged woman, emphasizes that it's not just women - that men too find themselves cut off from central aspects of themselves (and now Eliot's "Hollow Men" comes to mind).

So I felt elated to discover that I'm not alone in this. I didn't think I was, not really, but it seems someone has written the book about it already, much more systematically than me stumbling about in my fashion on my personal daily journey. The author discovered what turns herself on (she admonishes briskly, if you can't do it for yourself, don't know how to do it for yourself, how can you expect a partner, someone else to do it for you - how can you let him know even what it is you like? and that's a voyage of discovery I've been on, and it's blown me away. But another part she discovered (I gather) is that to feel whole she needed therapeutic touch, to be touched - by someone else -

I don't know the details. But that's where that little rainstorm of tears ensued. Because it's true, I can give myself pleasure now - and there's a lot more to it than that - over the last three years too, I've lost weight, dropped several sizes, can wear formfitting clothes that look wonderful on me

but I do miss touch, therapeutic touch, a sex worker's, a lover's, yours

that's a quandary

anyway, here I am up in the aerie in my leotard of a pink top, a cardinal or some bird is tweeting outside, the air is cooling a bit I hope, it's leftover Sicilian Spiced Chicken for dinner

my dearest, placing my hands in yours, holding them fast for a moment, and squeezing
so when I do that on an occasion months from now you'll know what I mean
reaching up to kiss you on the cheek, sweet beautiful you

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