Well I’m sitting here crunching into an organic apple, breathing in the frankincense and burning a light green candle in honour of Spring and Aphrodite. The degree of discipline it has taken just to get to this point is ridiculous – and writing a post seems like a totally impossible task, but I’m so sick of procrastinating that I will sit here and let my fingers play with the keyboard until I manage to get something – anything!- out into the world. I have just come back from my pole-dance class and can feel the bruises already starting to make their way to the flesh on my thighs, which is an oddly satisfying sensation, I have to say. The marks of successfully rising to another challenge, of hanging upside down in the ‘crucifix’ and the ‘batman’ poses, of sitting cross-legged and lady-like at the top of the pole with my arms stretched out in the ‘swan’ with my teacher telling me to smile as the pole burned my flesh. (“NOT the smile of death!” was her response to my attempt to dutifully follow her instructions. Well, who smiles while they’re being crucified anyway? I’d like to know.)
The truth is, it was not just the coffee that got me up and down that pole today, it was the crazy energy of Spring and all the buzzing excitement I am feeling at the moment. Like most people, I love having energy, and feeling it return after the long, cold winter is wonderful. But the thing is, for me, it becomes almost impossible to focus and concentrate on something like writing when your body just wants to being out there doing stuff. All sorts of stuff. Sweet stuff. Like a honey bee dipping into a myriad of blossoms, drinking in all the tastes and sensations life has to offer. Every time I walk down my street I find my face buried in a jasmine bush, closing my eyes and breathing in the divine sweetness, it just draws me in instinctively. I cross the road to get to different flowers. I’m completely and utterly at the mercy of my senses.
Now this all sounds wonderful, I’m sure, but actually it is kind of driving me crazy because it doesn’t just stop with the flowers. It happens with people too. I find myself getting drawn to particular energies and sometimes it’s so strong I have to stop myself from, well, from just – indulging in some kind of hedonistic orgiastic spontaneous rite of spring!! This may have been all fine in the good old days of yore, when these primitive impulses were taken into consideration and there were festivals to celebrate such energy, like Beltane at the height of summer, where everyone would basically get to choose whoever they desired as a partner for the night, dance around big fires and frolic in the forests, but when it’s your barrista or the guy you meet eyes with on the tram each morning, it’s kind of a different dynamic. There’s always this undercurrent of protocol which is unclear. As a culture we have very ill-defined boundaries when it comes to what is and isn’t appropriate, not to mention the unspoken ‘rules’ that come into play when it comes to sex and relationships – especially between men and women. It’s not even that I care so much about the rules or the protocol (isn’t it most of the fun breaking them, anyway!), it’s more about – how do I put this – “personal energy management”.
There are just so many different theories about the best way to handle oneself in these matters. I have one friend who never hesitates to go for exactly what she wants, and has none of the usual qualms many women have about being assertive when it comes to initiating sex. She is totally hardcore when it comes to satisfying her desires, and has no problem in asking directly for what she wants. Listening to her actually makes me feel like a complete prude. My jaw drops, my eyes widen, I’m like some innocent little Red Riding Hood taking in the tales of the Big Bad Wolf. She just laughs, and tells me that most guys are totally freaked out by strong women, when it comes down to it. They’ll flirt and carry on, but when they are confronted with the opportunity to actually go for it, a lot of them run for their lives. And if that’s the case, she says, they’d be useless in bed anyway. I blink and nod, rendered speechless simply by the act of trying to comprehend what it would feel like to interact with men in this way. But even though I admire her strength and ballsy attitude, I can’t say this method would work for me. Sure, she often gets what she wants and she doesn’t waste any time about it, but I enjoy the game itself too much to skip so many stages. And what she wants, which is purely physical instant gratification, isn’t exactly what I want (well, not all of the time, anyway)…
What I delight in is the amazing energy that is generated when two people are attracted to each other – when it is felt so acutely, but remains unspoken. Every little intonation, every minute gesture, is amplified so even the accidental touch of hands sends an electric current throughout your whole body. The not-knowing-for-sure (but feeling pretty damn sure at the same time), gives an edge of awareness and intimacy that can never be replicated once things are acknowledged outright. It is like the most delicious secret, something which cannot be captured in words or any other kind of evidence, apart from that which is tacitly experienced between the two of you. Whether anything further happens or not becomes (almost) irrelevant as the energy builds and the game gathers momentum. It is like adding flavour to a soup’- allowing time for it to grow rich and complex, rather than just gobbling it all down at once. It takes into account the subtleties of human attraction and fine-tunes our capacity to connect to one another in a most exquisitely instinctual way, to allow the rhythm of interaction to emerge naturally and feel the unique nuances of another in relation to our self. It is like surrender and control at the same time: surrender to the divine flow of energy that comes in waves, and control in terms of choosing how much you are going to give and how much you are going to hold back, eliciting different responses every time. One cannot underestimate the value of mystery and intrigue in these situations!
All this is well and good,( indeed, it is way better than good!) but at the same time, playing with this kind of energy can also drive you crazy and completely destroy your ability to focus and concentrate on other matters.
Put simply, if you open yourself to the energy of the universe in this way, you must learn to fly, to swim with the current but not get swept away by it. Dangerous waters, indeed! For those of us who have a natural inclination towards such pleasures and are drawn into the worlds beyond, it is easy to become consumed by our desires and to lose sight of reality. We have to remember to ground ourselves and work within the boundaries of the rational and responsible, to channel our energy into other creative pursuits and make sure it all flows back into the world in some way. I would like to right now admit that I am very, very bad at what I am advising here. I am a total sucker to the siren call, and as long as there is no-one tying me to a mast, I’ve jumped overboard and into the deep before the first note has been sung. I have pictures of mermaids all over the place and rarely stop listening to music that transports me into the place where lovers do what lovers do forever and ever. But I know all too well how getting lost in these lands can lead to obsession, and what appears at first to be so alluring and so beautiful, can end up leaving you an emaciated wreck. So whilst we may want to run away deep into the forest with our lover, we must remember that nothing lasts forever, and that if we try and capture this essence we will, in the very attempt, lose the transient beauty of it’s being.
So I have learned to appreciate every moment for exactly what it is, and enjoy all the subtle beauty of attraction, desire and love in its myriad forms. The energy of spring reminds me that such beauty is everywhere if we are open to it, all we have to do is trust our senses and follow our nose. There are Princes, and there are Kings. Whilst I most definitely still have the Aphrodite part of me that gets totally high on the buzz of caffeine and cute boys, I find myself also enjoying the satisfaction in knowing that I have choice, that I can regulate the current – simply because I realize the energy is there to use and to feel as I will it. As long as I am on this magical journey, I have no rush to reach any particular destination!