Again again, late in the night, here I am at the computer, at the keyboard, candle flickering, wanting to give you what moved through me hours ago when I came in the middle of the day.
I have been amazed more than once by a description a woman gave me of a world all her own which she had been secretly haunting since early childhood. A world of searching, the elaboration of a knowledge on the basis of a systematic experimentation with the bodily functions, a passionate and precise interrogation of her erotogeneity. This practice, extraordinarily rich and inventive, in particular as concerns masturbation, is prolonged or accompanied by a production of forms, a veritable aesthetic activity, each stage of rapture inscribing a resonant vision, a composition, something beautiful. Beauty will no longer be forbidden.
I wished that woman would write and proclaim this unique empire so that other women, other unacknowledged sovereigns, might exclaim: I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of torrents that I could burst — burst with forms more beautify than those which are put up in frames and sold for a stinking fortune. And I, too, said nothing, showed nothing; I didn’t open my mouth, I didn’t repaint my half of the world. I was ashamed. I was afraid, and I swallowed my shame and my fear. I sad to myself: You are mad! What’s the meaning of these waves, these floods, these outbursts? Where is the ebullient, infinite woman who, immersed as she was in her naiveté, kept in the dark about herself, led into self-distain by the great arm of parental-conjugal phallocentrism, hasn’t been ashamed of her strength? Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a … divine composure), hasn’t accused herself of being a monster? Who, feeling a funny desire stirring inside her (to sing, to write, to dare to speak, in short, to bring out something new), hasn’t thought she was sick? Well, her shameful sickness is that she resists death, that she makes trouble.
And why don’t you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you, your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven’t written. (And why I didn’t write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it’s reserved for the great — that is for ‘great men'; and it’s ‘silly.’ Besides, you’ve written a little, but in secret. And it wasn’t good, because it was in secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn’t go all the way, or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension a bit, just to take the edge off. And then soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty — so as to be forgiven; or to forget, to bury it until the next time…
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How can we push all the way into what we really long for, give ourselves fully over to it, allow our world to shift in order to accommodate that truth, desire, avocation?
What if these bodies don’t need forgiving at all?
What if we keeping secret all the things we were taught were shameful about ourselves? What if we take space for the telling, the revelation, the sharing — what if we allow for more “me, too!” moments of profound connection and de-isolation?
How can I more passionately interrogate this body? More lovingly? How can I more precisely listen to (and record, and respond to) my body’s requests, longings, silences, stillnesses, hungers, satiations, fires, quenchings, liquidities, resiliences, metabolizings, strengths, breakings, vulnerabilities — alongside, right stroking up against, the trauma aftermaths, the triggers, the numbnesses, the absencings, the dissociations, the losses?
How hungry do I get to be? For how much? And how well can I record it?
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Today’s was a fantasy that shifted like a dream, from me on my knees before you to you on your knees before me, from us in the classroom to us in the wings of a theater, from you about to come to me, yes, coming, there under the water — I fell into the fantasy, let the images unfold, let myself exactly narrate, tell myself the story the way I might write it, the way I might tell you if we were on the phone. I made myself wait for the good part, made myself listen for zippers and instructions, smelled chalk dust and sweat. I got overly excited, had to pull the water away several times, panting, eyes closed, oh god I’m so close. Then I put the water back on against my lips, my clit, and shove one more bit further up over that plateau. You know that feeling; do you?
Is this awful?: what nudged me just that last inch over the edge was the image of my own cunt, exposed, public, imagining myself exposed to you just when you can’t react, when no one else could see but you — and in my own mind’s eye, that omniscient narrator of fantasies, I could see, too. Here I was, internally, in the experience of both voyeur and exhibitionist, and I came hard, imagining your reaction, you taking what had been so brazenly offered to you. Of course, in your taking me, in my own fantasy, I am taking myself. I am getting off to the image of my own body, your arousal, my desirability, my own audacity.
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And why don’t you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you, your body is yours, take it.
Say it over and over again.
“Writing is for you, you are for you, your body is yours, take it.”
Take it, as hard or as easy as you like. Come again tomorrow. See you then.