Friday, April 9, 2021

Erotic Education

My blog numbers have been down, so I thought that this title would attract attention. Ha ha! But those who expect something pornographic will be disappointed and stop reading the moment they see this quote from Michael Meade: 

Eros is the secret glue that holds everything together, the spirit that must be present at the beginning of any new project, creative effort or relationship. Eros appears as the part of us that desires to connect, that longs to create and pay homage to whomever and whatever can be truly meaningful to us. Eros appears as the natural flow of longing and love within us that is also the evidence of the divine source of life trying to enter the world again through us.

The original meaning of erotic is of course, connected with Eros but now is often paired with pornography, a word that has Greek roots in “porno,” related to prostitution and “graphy,” writing about it. Sex in prostitution is a business proposition, a longing of the sexual organs for each other independent of the people connected to them. Erotic is sexual love, combining our innate physical desire with our heart’s desire for love. 

And the root of that sexual drive, “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower” (Dylan Thomas), is life itself wanted to propagate itself, is the sacred urge for the continuity of life, is Spring’s wild celebration of renewal, re-birth, new life. Eros is not confined to the sexual organs, but is “the natural flow of longing and love within us.” It manifests in human gatherings as healthy flirtations, a Spring-like lightness and joy, a wink of the eye, a playful bantering, a mutual attraction to the creative act that connects people unabashedly.

But people being people, such healthy, natural instincts sometimes step over lines, especially when people are disconnected with the larger dimensions of Eros and fall into the sleazy realm of power misused (Matt Gaetz, for example). And that’s when the lawyers step in. 

The moment a lawyer steps into the room, the whole natural and healthy playful dynamic of Eros runs and hides in the corner, knowing that the most innocent exchange could be interpreted by law instead of seen through the mythological eye of Eros. 

And the irony is that the absence of Eros leaves a hollow in the human psyche, drives things underground that will then re-appear in a misshapen form. An atmosphere minus Eros is stilted, stiff, mistrustful, fearful, a mere shell of a body without all the animated energy flowing freely. 

Eros is present in the best moments of life, the best exchanges between people, the best gatherings where it feels like Spring is in the air. And so yes, erotic education in the old sense. Eros is in the busy, buzzing classroom, has a seat in the Spring concert, even can peek out between the agenda items of the staff meeting. Its presence is as palpable as the wisteria blossoming in the back yard, bringing scent, color, beauty and Spring’s renewed promise, its absence as bleak as a session in the Senate. 

Will the lawyers someday charge the tulips with excessive flirtation? Sue the salvia for the injury the bee sustained entering the blossom? Scold the cherry blossoms for violating the dress code? Heaven forbid. Let us renew with the Spring with old Eros by our side.

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