Thursday, August 29, 2013

The power of the erotic: joy and fulfilment.

My own summary from reading Audre Lorde:

The erotic as an internal sense of satisfaction that comes from being in touch with the depth of our feelings, which opens and realises our capacity for joy.

The erotic as power, because knowing that we can aspire to this yes, to this fulfilment within ourselves, we are less inclined to accept resignation and powerlessness.

Finally, the erotic as a power and satisfaction that can be shared from the mutual recognition of the feelings that come from participating in the same experience, instead of using one another though our feelings.

So nice that I will give you a quote to enjoy
The erotic functions in me in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, form a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
        Another important way in which the erotic connections functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, examining an idea.
        That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called
marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
        This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognised at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsability, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.
        During World War II, we bought sealed plastic packets of white, uncolored margarine, with a tiny, intense pellet of yellow coloring perched like a topaz just inside the clear skin of the bag. We would leave the margarine out for a while to soften, and then we would knead it gently back and forth, over and over, until the color had spread throughout the whole pound bag of margarine, thoroughly coloring it.
        I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strenghtens all my experience.

This is part of a chapter of Sister outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde, 1984. I hope you liked it.

No comments: