Settling in 12-10-12
Wow, my mind is reeling with so many thoughts after these past few weeks of heated cyber-interactivity! (Reference is my entries on delicious poetry and 22 Sept) It has my mind thinking of so many things, like how some people live by only seeing the inside of their own circle of existence, and how they can defend their comfort zones and constructed belief systems to the death, be they poets, protestors for a cause, suicide bombers, or Hitlers. How they will go to such lengths to defend their belief systems that they will rally supporters and troops to argue / fight with them / back them up / confirm their doubts… then I thought about how other people don’t know what they believe in, or they feel they believe the same, or they’ve been taught to be the same as others, whatever the reasoning, they get on board, they step out to be a part of something, to feel needed and purposeful by not being alone… … … In my years interacting online I think I’ve figured out the four main reasons people enter the space, 1) for attention 2) for company 3) to seek answers and / or 4) for love… I think, anyway.
The interactions, once again, made me feel so very different to the people I exist with on this planet, because I feel my soul journey is my own, no one else’s. No one else has my parents, my upbringing, my life experiences; literally no one else can be inside my head and see things with my eyes and my thoughts… so how is it possible for me to be the same as anyone else? How is it possible for me to be compared to and judged, when there’s only one me and no baseline comparative to judge by? How is it possible for me to ever be comfortable if I’m forcing myself to ‘fit in’ with someone else? I’ve found that it is when my soul, thoughts, mind and actions are in agreement that I am the most content, the most at peace. I’ve never found peace by trying to make myself be what others what me to be, or support a cause that another is so emphatic about, which I feel nothing for. I know this about myself, and it really does make me angry when others tell me I’m ‘wrong’ for being who I am; that I am ‘inferior’ to them because I’m myself, not them. Then I go from anger to frustration at the closed-mindedness of their approach and how they want to deny me my human right to be human in whatever way I choose, so long as I’m not hurting, damaging, being unloving or destructive in any way, what does it matter how I choose to live my life and express myself… there are landscape artists and Picasso’s, both have their place and different identities, it doesn’t make one ‘better’ than the other… why can’t some people respect that?
Then my frustration is met with three quotes, one from Shakespeare, where ‘every man struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more’, and Jesus Christ on His cross saying "forgive them Father for they know not what they do," and the one that says ‘this too shall pass’… and then I realise it’s all ok and I needn’t be angry or frustrated because it’s a waste of potentially good energy.
Whilst dealing with the reactions around the delicious poem, I posted another one on virginity, also a context specific poem, and I was intrigued that the person commenting did so kindly and considerately, and my reaction was so very different. I was eager to work with his suggestions as his arguments were valid, well thought out, backed up and not forceful. The difference in levels of respect from the two poems’ commenters was blatantly obvious to me, as well as the effects thereof. Unfortunately, the latter’s response also triggered in me another forum topic for pondering: The different gender’s approaches to sex. Further to this trigger, last night I had a chat with a woman who told me that she really doesn’t get it, once you’ve seen one girl you’ve seen them all, they only change in size and colour, so why does her husband need to download pornography and leave it where her primary school son can find it?
My context is teaching in an all girls’ school, my family life has been mostly all girls as well. Thus, I write from my experiences, because I can’t write what I know nothing about. I wanted to clarify that the ‘manipulating’ part of the virginity poem was based on the fact that ‘the boys’ tell ‘the girls’ that they will only date them / love them, if they have sex with them. I had a similar experience at school too, (I went to co-ed schools) I had duties with this one guy and he out-rightly said to me that he really liked me and he’d be willing to date me, but only if I slept with him… maybe it was because he felt that as I was always single I needed to be like everyone else, so he would do me the favour, or he was so blunt because that’s how he deals with things, or maybe he wanted another notch on his bedpost, or felt I may be that desperate; when in fact I was nothing of the sort… still that interaction is burned in my mind, the lovelessness of it, the casual ‘whatever’/ ‘lay down the law, I’m the man’ approach caught me gobsmacked! I guess there are girls who may be that desperate / willing out there, and sex is really just that for them, sex, it goes in and comes out (heh heh, cool pun there ;-)… from my perspective, however, I view anyone saying: ‘I will, only if…’ as manipulation. With regards to my poem, my mistake was connecting it to the HIV line above in the poem. Thus, I realised that poems are not only written from a specific context, but are read in a different context altogether, thus the authenticity of one’s meaning when writing a poem disappears the moment the writing becomes public, because the truth of the poem will change. Ideas and interpretations will develop and be exposed, minds will take on the new information and the original meaning of the poem will morph according to the expanded public input… from an educational perspective I thought of how my lecturers at university told me that my interpretations were incorrect according to their memo’s and knowledge; but, if interpretations are in a continual state of flux, can an answer on poetry by an individual, taken from their unique perspective and sole access to their mind and sight, ever actually be validly incorrect? I think: not.
What interested me most though, was when the virginity poem commenter commented that men should also be included in cherishing the gift of virginity… this comment made me take a step back and I was weary to ask him about the comment… the next day I braved it and asked in a round about way if the first time boys had sex genuinely meant anything to them… then by the end of the day I had lost my courage to ask the question and edited it off the poem… I realised that I can’t go asking strangers those kinds of questions, because it could be seen as invasive, awkward, flirting or worse. That using my poem to ask a stranger questions about how boys view sex on an internet site is rather inappropriate… but the thing is, I can’t ask that question to a guy in person because I battle to fend off the continual sexual innuendos they can’t avoid if I talk sex, so I doubt I’ll ever get an answer to the question.
Once upon a time the topic did come up in a very uncomfortable conversation that I never want to repeat again, ever; but the guy told me that his soul had connected with every woman he had slept with and he could remember them all very exactly. He wished that he had waited for his first time. This surprised me, because, well it’s a random thing to say to someone, but also because that is not the impression the men I’ve been around have given me. I’m no beauty queen, I’m as girl-next-door as anyone could find, but I have had a few interactions in the past two decades that have created my impressions. One was when we were a huge group broken into two teams: girls against boys, it was a fast-paced question guessing game and my mind works quickly so I usually do really well. After the game we went out clubbing and one of the guys on the other team decided that it was a good idea to tell me that while we were playing he had been picturing me in various ‘physical positions’… please note that he was kind of partnered off with another girl in the group… there I was enjoying the game and there he was enjoying his own game; maybe he was making up a ridiculous excuse for why they lost, but still, talk about awkward!
Another experience, when I returned from my international travels, centered around the fact that in Amersfoort, Netherlands, when they greet each other it is with three alternate kisses on the other’s cheeks; so when I met up with the old group of mates the one guy arrived late so I stood up and greeted him, and then laughed when I went to kiss his other cheek a third time and he was confused, so I said "it’s Dutch style" to which he replied "I’d prefer French". Once again something that was so innocent and genuine for me was turned into something sexual from a guy with a girl friend. When I was still waitressing a bunch of mates sat at one of my tables and the one guy had a seriously rude tone when he ordered, so I told him that he needed to say please when he asked me for anything and then I’d think about it, so he promptly replied, "Please sleep with me Shannan."
Once upon a time I had the honour of being part of a group of guys meeting up on a Sunday afternoon and I sat dumbstruck as they spoke about their ‘conquests’ of the weekend… another time I was a guest at a dinner party, but due to the tubes and buses I was late and they were well red-wined upon my arrival, they were talking sex and the one guy was telling the tale of how he scored a woman in a campsite shower but it wasn’t a great experience because she was too fat to get her leg high enough…
I’m not judging these guys, or the way they are, or who they are, and obviously I’m contextualizing it to fit the theme of my thoughts here; and I probably look like an uptight, naive prude; but what I am questioning is: what is the truth? One guy tells me that guys do feel something, and many other guys have given the impression that they don’t feel anything past their hard on… In my days of flying around the country as a corporate trainer, one guy told me that he went out and got someone to have sex with him just because he wanted go ‘get it over with’ as there was too much pressure for the first time, and I should do the same. In a separate experience another guy told me that my standards are too high and I should basically just get over myself because letting a man go inside my body, physically deeper than I can ever possibly go, is no big deal… perhaps there is no ‘truth’ here, that for some sex means something and for others it doesn’t… perhaps sex, like interpreting poetry, is also a choice that one needs make for oneself and not be forced into to ‘fit in’ with anyone else… I don’t think there is a ‘right’, ‘black and white’ answer for this one either…