Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Research: Going deep.

I currently do not have any writing contracts, and because I had two deadlines that overlapped each other, I decided to take a small break from writing and live a little. Part of that for me is reading… reading Non-Fiction as well as fiction.

Non-Fiction books give me inspiration, make my mind spin and swirl with ideas for new stories and life. I have a TBR pile on my nightstand that is a foot high… okay I have three stacks that high.

I know I have also talked in the past about music and how that inspires me. So I have been exploring listening to all sorts of new music trying to find something that gets me moving, makes me feel sexy, or brings tears to my eyes. The CD at the moment I cant get enough of is called Tribal deviations by Beats Antique. I can NOT sit still and listen to this band! My hips start to move on their own and I find myself twitching in my chair. LOL.

The book I am reading at the moment is called Mating in Captivity(Unlocking erotic intelligence.) The author Esther Perel. I have only just started reading it but OMG… amazing. She states in the opening of the book, her purpose… she wants to know if we can hold on to the sense aliveness and excitement in long term relationships. Is there something inherent in commitment that deadens desire? Can we ever achieve Security with out succumbing to monotony?

She wants to know if we can ever achieve what Octavio Paz calls the double flame of love and eroticism?

Octavio Paz’s quote: The original primordial fire of eroticism is sexuality: it raises the red flame of eroticism, which in turn raises and feeds another flame, tremulous and blue. It is the flame of love and eroticism. The double flame of life.

The chapters in this range from: The pitfalls of modern intimacy: talk is Not the only avenue to Closeness. To Sex is dirty; save it for someone you love: When Puritanism and Hedonism Collide.

The opening of the book has this lovely poem by D.H. Lawrence.
Wild Things in Captivity

Wild things in captivity
while they keep their own wild purity
won't breed, they mope, they die.

All men are in captivity,
active with captive activity,
and the best won't breed, though they don't know why.

The great cage of our domesticity
kills sex in a man, the simplicity
of desire is distorted and twisted awry.

And so, with bitter perversity,
gritting against the great adversity,
they young ones copulate, hate it, and want to cry.

Sex is a state of grace.
In a cage it can't take place.
Break the cage then, start in and try.

My questions for you: What are your thoughts on that poem? And the idea of sustaining desire in a long term committed relationship?

I am looking forward to hearing what Mrs. Perel has to say on the subject.

Hugs and Kisses,


Kate Pearce said...

I LOVE that poem-so full of conflict.

As to the experiment of caging a man, I'm conducting my own experiment on that...22 years this year and still going :)

Jane Lockwood said...

Happy reading, Lacy!

I have mixed feelings about DHL. I think he did some wonderful things with the language of eroticism--I use his poem "Figs" in the workshop Pam and I will give on writing hot historicals (at National in SF, early, ugh, on Sat morning) as an example of innovative language.

But it's the line All men are in captivity that I think is a dead giveaway in this poem. Captured by whom? Women? Are they responsible for the Great cage of our domesticity? If it's not women, but the forces of society, does he believe the women are also in the cage? He states that the young ones copulate, hate it, and want to cry but it still seems to me to be a bid for male freedom against stifling female possession--in other words, business as usual in DHL land.

But Perel's book sounds interesting--I'll have to look out for it. One issue of course is that long-term relationships are a relatively new phenomenon; Laurence Stone (I think) calculates the average length of marriage in the long eighteenth century as fourteen years--mainly because you could die of quite trivial conditions. So possibly we're not genetically hotwired for decades of sex and love--I'm not sure I believe it, but who knows.

Lacy Danes said...

Ah Jane, I took the "All Men in captivity" to mean Men as in Humans... not as Men vs Women.

Maybe I was wrong on that, but when I read it I didn't exclude women from what he was saying.


Lacy Danes said...

I agree the poem is full of conflicts... the struggling of man kind in societies caged rules.

Congratulations on 22 years! What a wonderful thing to celebrate.