The sexy rocks I have known

A haibun is a combination of prose and haiku, with the haiku usually reflecting the writing, but not necessarily directly referencing it. It provides a personal perspective while still being detached; humorous and light, regardless of topic.

I learned about this style of writing from Loren Webster, who provided a particularly deft haibun today, about sexual desire and enlightenment, writing:

I’ve often felt in the past that that I would be a better person if I could free myself from my desires. After all, most great religions I’ve studied seem to imply that one of the first steps in attaining enlightenment is to free oneself from desire, particularly sexual desire.

As I’ve aged, in fact, I’ve comforted myself with the idea that as my sex appeal declined my desires also declined. Ideally, it seemed to me that the two would meet at the very point where pure enlightenment compensated for the fact that no woman in her right mind would even consider sleeping with me.

I chuckled when reading the last, a smile that froze on my face, as Loren acquainted his readers with the fact that he’s recently been diagnosed with another form of cancer. Operable, but not without side effects, such as medication that takes sexual desire but doesn’t leave enlightenment in its stead.

If I fuss and worry, I’m sure I will annoy Loren to no end, so what I’ll do instead is talk about hiking. It is, after all, a shared form of linguistics.

Perhaps these things work differently for women than for men, because I’m not sure that as I’ve gotten older my sexual desires have decreased. When I was younger, the drive for a ‘man’ dominated much more than today, but much of that was mixed with other complicated needs, such as reassurance that I was attractive, interesting, and above all sexy–that primitive little monkey in my head again, waiting to be mated.

What I’m finding is that I’m as sexual as I was in my younger days, but my sexuality isn’t necessarily tied up in ‘having sex’; I can also experience sexuality in my code, my writing and photography, and especially when I’m hiking.

I could even say that hiking is an erotic experience, but then I would have to bring in trite comparisons such as “when I touch the rocks of Castor Shut-Ins, I’m really touching myself”; or “the Slot was a crack in the earth — like a vagina waiting to be entered”. Then there would be the rocks thrusting skyward, like giant penises (or is that giant breasts?) and boulders and balls, or some such thing.

Oh, please. Why must all discussions of sensuality be reduced to a catalog of body parts? And why must all that is erotic be reduced to sex?

What is sex other than an intimacy and a passion, a fulfillment, and above all, a celebration of life? And isn’t this what I experience every time I complete a challenging hike, surrounded by the incredible beauty of the Ozarks, isolated from other people, and dependent only on myself?

It seems to me that rather than suppress one’s sexual desire to achieve enlightenment, one should give into it–to experience it in the wind, and touch it in the plants, and taste it in our drink, and above all hear it in our words.

Of course, I wouldn’t be adverse to the ‘real thing’, either. I am not celibate, only single. But I’m not dependent only on sex to find sexual completion.

Be well, Loren.

(Okay, okay, I’ll stop fussing.)


Webloggers and other ancient mariners

Dave Rogers sounds a bit ambivalent about weblogging at the moment, so I thought I would publish a poem by the odd and delightful Ogden Nash that I think he’ll appreciate. By the way, Dave, you have to stay around; we need more people that know “War of the Worlds” is a remake.

So Does Everybody Else, Only Not So Much

O all ye exorcizers come and exorcize now, and ye clergymen draw nigh and clerge,
For I wish to be purged of an urge.
It is an irksome urge, compounded of nettles and glue,
And it is turning all my friends back into acquaintances, and all my acquaintances into people who look the other way when I heave into view.
It is an indication that my mental buttery is butterless and my mental larder lardless,
And it consists not of “Stop me if you’ve heard this one,” but of “I know you’ve heard this one because I told it to you myself, but I’m going to tell it to you again regardless,”
Yes I fear I am living beyond my mental means.
When I realize that it is not only anecdotes that I reiterate but what is far worse, summaries of radio programs and descriptions of caroons in newspapers and magazines.
I want to resist but I cannot resist recounting the bright sayins of celebrities that everybody already is familiar with every word of; I want to refrain but cannot refrain from telling the same audience on two successive evenings the same little snatches of domestic gossip about people I used to know that they have never heard of.
When I remember some titlating episode of my childhood I figure that if it’s worth narrating once it’s worth narrating twice, in spite of lackluster eyes and dropping jaws,
And indeed I have now worked my way backward from titllating episodes in my own childhood to titillating episodes in the childhood of my parents or even my parents-in-laws,
And what really turns my corpuscles to ice,
I carry around clippings and read them to people twice.
And I know what I am doing while I am doing it and I don’t want to do it but I can’t help doing it and I am just another Ancient Mariner,
And the prospects for my future social life couldn’t possibly be barrener.
Did I tell you that the prospects for my future social life couldn’t be barrener?