Originally posted December 9, 2013
“I believe in loyalty. We should respect our Church, but never believe that the Church has the last word. The Church is saying “this”, but I believe that sooner or later “this” will change. “This” is not the mind of our Lord. God is all love. It’s a delicate balancing thing. The Church has changed its position over the years, and because the spirit is with the Church, in the end the Church will always get it right. But in the end. The spirit of the Church is the meaning of love, which hasn’t yet, perhaps, been fully understood,”
~ Sister Wendy Beckett on the subject of gay marriage
Most of us rarely hear the words “erotic” and “nun” in the same sentence.
That is, unless, you had a Catholic-school crush that permeated into the current kinks of your daily life.
However, whether you believe in God or not, we all have some form of the erotic nun archetype within ourselves. And while it’s true that nuns do not have sex, that does not mean that they do not have an erotic life.
To the contrary. I believe that many nuns have a rich and powerful connection to their own erotic energy. They’re married to Jesus Christ, for…well…Chrissakes!
First, let me define erotic. Its root word, eros, is Greek in origin and one of its meanings is “love as a fundamental creative impulse.” So while sexuality can be erotic, not everything erotic has to be sexual.
Eroticism is simply an experience of the world that is alive, vital, flowing, present and deeply connected to the powerful creative energy always surrounding us.
Some people may call that energy orgasm. Other people may call that energy source. Still others may refer to is as kundalini. Nuns call this energy The Holy Spirit. And to devote your life and your creative force in service of this divine energy is truly erotic indeed.
The nun archetype experiences the erotic as God revealing his/her self in every ecstatic moment. In every face. In every sunrise. In every routine chore.
When I think of the embodied erotic nun archetype, I look no further than Sister Wendy Beckett. She’s a South African-born nun who currently resides in England and is best known for her PBS specials where she shares with the audience the history and technical analysis of various paintings and sculptures.
What is evident in her voice is how much awe, reverence and passion she has for art. She speaks with pleasure and delight as she describes the sensual curves of the sky, the fruit, the women and all manner of subjects that the artists choose to express through their work.
“He’s not interested in the static, but in the moment, when things are moving and happening,” says Beckett, almost defining eroticism in her description of Bernini’s sculptures.
In fact, every word that comes out of her mouth seems to be a gourmet delight that she can not wait to share with her viewers. She does not balk in shame or disapproval when sharing the sexual ardor of the nude characters depicted in the paintings.
And the seemingly limitless well of wonder from which she draws is unconditional love for all God’s creatures.
We are, of course, familiar with the unintegrated, shadow aspects of the nun: spiritual narcissism, delusions of grandeur, disgust for things of the “earthly” realm, etc. And though we may be used to associating those aspects with women wearing the habit, they can often show up in our everyday lives: anorexics, sanctimonious “enlightened” gurus and even many “seekers” who can barely take care of their everyday needs all deny themselves pleasure in the pursuit of “purity” and condemn anyone who does not walk their perception of “the right way.”
Our work is to neither reject the nun nor uphold her as the sole source of guidance in our lives; but to listen to her, love her and honor her wisdom with balanced ears.
So let us learn a thing or two from the erotic essence of the nun, such as awe and passion for the greater powers that surround us, no matter how mundane or trivial they may seem.
Let us bow our heads in reverence to the mysteries that influence and guide us every day. Let our work be a prayer for more compassion and an act of service in honor of the divine. And may we all heed her invitation to dance with each other in the name of universal love.
Originally posted May 21, 2013
I got married. Again.
Something I vowed I would never do. But vows are funny things, you know. Life is constantly in a state of flux. What we vow one day gets flipped upside down the next. We either stay firm within them, or we shift with the tide.
So when the unshakable desire arose to love this man and commit to the unfolding partnership, I shifted too.
But when it came time for me to write my wedding vows, I found myself utterly stumped. Months went by. I thought the moment would magically arise and words would effortlessly overflow from my loving cup. Alas, I every time I tried to share what was in my heart, everything felt cheap and trite.
I reconsidered the whole notion of having vows. When I hear ‘in sickness and in health; til death do us part’, I think of fundamentalist, religious perspectives of the ‘proper’ roles of husbands and wives. Considering that I believe relationships can express themselves in a variety of ways, i.e. queer, poly and/or non-marriage based, this collection of antiquated aphorisms just weren’t my speed, nor did they inspire my writing.
Finally, in the shower, I had a flash in the form of a lyric from a medicine song that deeply binds me to my prayer.
I quickly wrapped a towel around me and dashed to my computer. Four lines squeezed out of me. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
The next day, our internet went down. We called the cable company. While my partner was testing the internet on my computer, he saw the beginning of my vows, which I had idiotically left open on my laptop.
I was back to zero. And this time, I felt even more hopeless. The crappy internet had destroyed my tiny shred of inspiration.
And that’s when I decided I would start as I always do: with the truth. I made the decision to just write what I was feeling in the moment. Every mental block and aggravation poured out of me.
And from this odd pile of brain vomit arose a simple truth: I was trying to vow in a way that wasn’t in integrity with who I was. I was looking for static promises that I knew would all set me up for failure.
Instead, what I discovered, was that this love was a moment to moment choice. How our relationship will look or what we will want in the future will naturally ebb and flow with the tides of our lives. But I can be certain that I will be a total ‘yes’ to whatever arises. And this ‘yes’, to everything—the blissful and the challenging—is the foundation of orgasmic marriage.
I share these words with you today in the hopes that they carry on the spirit of that prayer: to inspire and foster growth—for myself, my Beloved and everyone we meet.
In a moment when a writer most needs her muse
Words utterly fail me—
Or rather they disappoint—
They are but brief placeholders
To the magnitude of love inside.
I remember within the first weeks of dating you
(During our emotional disarmament)
When I laid down my vanity and spoke
The ominous desire:
“I want to know what it’s like to be utterly devoted to a man.”
And so…here we stand.
Me: a woman
Just trying to figure it out.
You: the answer
To my every prayer.
This relationship has felt like a series of choiceless choices.
I can say ‘Yes’
And watch the most incredible miracles unfold--
Or…I can say ‘Yes’
Because you and I would never choose anything less than magic.
I choose connection over ‘being right.’
I choose vulnerability over pride.
I choose support for our growth over insecurity of my own inadequacy.
I choose celebration over manipulation.
I choose ‘more life’ over stagnant insulation.
I choose gratitude over resentment.
I choose play over ‘winning the game.’
I choose service to Spirit over selfish adoration.
I choose interpersonal freedom over fear-laden codependency.
I choose a pauper’s truth over a king’s ransom of lies.
“Oh my Beloved, you are always in my heart”
And this is my only prayer:
May our love be the foundation of our lives,
And an inspiration to each other
And to every person we meet.
I honor—and devote—myself to you,
My partner in this world—
And every place
Originally posted January 17, 2012
We travel initially to lose ourselves and we travel next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel, in essence, to become young fools again, to slow time down and get taken in and fall in love once more--Pico Iyer
Anyone who knows me, knows that when I say I am committed to doing something, I do it full-out, all the way to the end.
Some may call this perseverance.
Some may call this folly.
I simply call it “falling.”
There’s a reason I’ve worn the guards around my heart for so many years. Yes, I can love the unloveable in a general way—give a little hit of the orgasm drug to the junkies and then scurry off to another corner of the planet. But to stick around long enough for you to see my folly…not on your life!
But I have a secret. Now, don’t tell anyone this, because it’s pretty well-hidden (but not really). It’s this innocent place that, if discovered, will reveal that I’m not really as worldly and jaded and smart as I pretend to be.
It’s this place where, if I acknowledge just how much I love you and how much you mean to me, then I am totally yours. Forever. Deeply, deeply devoted in a kind of full-on surrender that I completely lose who I am in pursuit of knowing and experiencing this one true thing.
I know it in acting. But I wasn’t happy with just one impossible cause.
I know it in orgasm. And yet two also just didn’t seem like enough.
So why not really make a fool of myself? Go for the great triumvirate! The cosmic hat trick! Mind, body, spirit! Father, son, holy ghost! Or whatever fucking parallel you want to make.
The point is this: I am in love with a boy.
There. I said it. I admit it.
Yup. A mere mortal. No great cause to sweep away the suffering of the world, but an angel in human form that I keep merely for my own selfish pleasure.
Please forgive me that we are already 374 words into this blog post and I have still yet to release my sardonic tone. But the fact is I need it as a buffer in order to get the tiniest shred of love to trickle out onto the page.
Innocence. Right. Change of stroke.
So what does it mean to fall in love in an orgasmic world? Well, for starters, there’s a sort of conscious pride-death that takes happens. In muggle terms, that means I giggle stupidly when he’s around…all the time…even when he is putting on his socks. There’s a way in which he’ll tell me he doesn’t like what I am wearing and I will tear up my boxes to find something we both like. There’s a way in which I can downstroke him, right in the middle of penetration, and he will let that sword in and I will ride the slicing pain of sensation all the way down to the bottom. There’s a way in which he can tell me in the moment, “I don’t want you moving to LA. I want to marry you, move to the suburbs and make babies,” and because he is so honest with me, I feel like I can trust him—which makes me love him even more. And there’s a way in which we have an upturned palm surrounding the relationship. It doesn’t grasp or cling, but it holds itself open, ready to let go (or receive) at any moment.
And it’s for this reason that I keep coming back. It doesn’t mean that he and I don’t get jealous or scared or annoyed or bored or obsessive or whatever. What it means is that our ability to trust and to surrender expands the container of our relationship to include all of that “negative” energy, alchemize it to turn-on and fuel our desires.
He was nervous a few weeks ago to tell me about an interaction he had with another woman. In the old model of relating, we normally hide things like that from our lovers because we think they are too fragile and we don’t want to hurt their feelings (or so we say…many times it’s just our own shame in admitting how greedy we are sexually). In any case, I began to ask him about his makeout. Was it hot? Where did you feel the most sensation? What did that interaction reveal in you? Or was it just a good, old-fashioned, apple-pie fuck? And as he talked, I got more and more turned-on, hungry to feel more of him.
I like feeling his desire. I like knowing what makes him happy. I like that he wants to include me in the ENTIRE landscape of his sexuality—not just the confident, successful façade most men show. The good stuff is in the greasy bits left in the bottom of the cast iron skillet. The angry, hard bits. The unctuous butter. The concentrated salt. The blackened bitter. The way he slaps my face while I roll on top of him and choke his throat. Or in the way I lay my head sweetly on his shoulder and press my hand gently on the dark fur of his chest.
And I love that he’ll ask me “What do you want?” again…and again…and again…and again…patiently awaiting the moment when I finally burn through my shame and pride and simply say, “I want you to hold me in the soft warmth of this bed.”
Or I’ll say, “I want you to move to LA with me and start your business there!”
Or I’ll say, “I want eggs…no I want oatmeal…no I want a green drink…no I want chamomile tea…no I want toast with almond butter…NO! Kombucha! That’s it!”
In the end (if there really is such a thing), it doesn’t matter what it looks like. And that’s what’s most important for me. That’s the part (if this were an OM) that has my nervous system relax, trust that the container is tight enough, and allow anything to orgasmically arise. Perhaps the relationship plays out until I move to LA. Maybe it tumultuously climaxes next time we see each other. Maybe we create a long-distance partnership that spans years. Maybe we move to Kathmandu together and become hermits for the rest of our lives. The point is we are not relating in a way that is rooted in what was or what might be (though these things do come up naturally). But we work to keep our attention in the present moment and on the sensation right now. And we trust that if we feel our way, all will unfold in its divine intelligence.
I have travelled to lose myself, to find myself, to open my eyes and ears, to slow down, to meet my fool and to get swept away. I have travelled all the way across the country to know this place. Might as well fall in.