"If sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities, it's because they lead to the knowledge that you own your own body (and with it your own voice), and that's the most revolutionary insight of all." ~Erica Jong
In honor of National Poetry Month, I give you a quote from wonderful poet and author, Erica Jong. I just read that her iconic book, Fear of Flying, is being made into a movie. Erica Jong is a revolutionary. She dared, forty plus years ago, to talk about sex and relationships in a frank and straightforward way that no one before her had. She broke barriers and became an icon in the process. She has been unflinchingly honest about herself and the larger world. Her perspective has added to the dialogue that is feminist discourse and our culture is better for it.
About the quote itself, it is an important observation and one that frees us to understand our own level of humanity. In my first post, I discussed the importance of pleasing oneself, and the importance of being very present during the act of sex. I did not go into why as much as I might have, so I will here.
Sex is a creative act. It is a collaboration between two or more people which can result in self-discovery, waves of gratitude, and a feeling of connection that is not possible in many other areas of life. Being present while creating anything, including any type of sexual experience, is revolutionary because we live in a culture that is addicted to distraction. Many of us work all day, come home, sit on the couch, watch TV, or play video games, and wait for dinner. When dinner is ready, we eat, then return to the couch to be distracted until the end of the night. We might even find ourselves asleep on the couch and have to haul ourselves to bed many hours later. We are owned by our distractions. We miss out on our lives because of these distractions and that is by design. You will not find yourself in re-runs, Angry Birds, or the latest edition of People magazine.
Yes, this idea of owning your own body and your own voice is revolutionary, but I would like to clarify this concept. While I am all for fighting the good fight, attending to oneself and fomenting awareness should not be done to push against the dominant paradigm, but because we value ourselves and the people around us. Done, because after all, we should be able to hold our own interest. Because if we can't hold our own attention, if we don't take the time for ourselves, it is a ridiculous thing to expect others to do it. The greatest delight in this world is discovering who you are. Do not cheat yourself of it. Do not keep yourself from it.
The real value lies in the relationship. In the experience of interaction. The more you engage with yourself and with the people around you, really, actively engage, the more you are revealed. As more of you is revealed, you become aware of your humanity, of your flaws, of your courage, of your badass heart. On this day, the day of the creative revolutionary, I implore you: reveal yourself. Get comfortable with your weaknesses and your shortcomings. Put yourself in a position to encounter your strengths. It is sheer delight to get to know yourself in this way, and the people around you, if they are to do the same, need you to do it. Be the inspiration, the explorer, the captain of your own ship. Be the bright light that defines the world around you. This dark world needs more light, and you are just the person for the job.
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