Shadows and Sovereignty
There’s a picture over my desk of a wind-bent pine tree leaning over a seaside cliff. To most people it’s just a black and white rendering of the coast. It’s beautiful but it’s not anything out of the ordinary. As I’ve sat before it, though, these last few weeks of writing and building Vivid, I’ve started to see it differently. In the tree sit three blackbirds and below them the water and coastline unfold to make the distinctive shape of a woman’s secret body. It is wild and soft, light-filled and mysterious. There are foamy waves at the shoreline, and if I narrow my eyes just right I can imagine hips and knees continuing outside the edges of the frame. I can see legs where the grassy hills tumble and then disappear. On the surface of its glass it’s just another Pacific coastline, but I know the secret.
We are all holding inside our obvious frames a secret third dimension. Each one of us is the owner of thousands of stories, experiences, hopes, dreams, and fears. We are brave and raw and wounded and healed, sometimes over and over in one single day. There is a deep sea inside us, an ocean of feelings and passion and complicated sensations. Contrary to the modern myths about women, this sea gets deeper and often wilder as we age, not simpler, and certainly not calmer. How do we connect the exterior experience of our body to our interior world of pleasure and sensuality? How do we enter the frame and step into all the feelings, even the ones which scare us? Is it possible to live in a three-dimensional sexuality?
This week at Vivid we are going to talk about SEX. Are you as excited as we are? This isn’t going to be another list of rules or outdated ideas, either. We want to start some deep, complex discussions full of sultry shadows and delicious nuance. We are completely done with slick answers and bad news about our bodies. We have plans to unravel a few myths about midlife sexuality and start telling the real stories that we’re hearing and even the ones we’re experiencing ourselves. We have a feeling that you’re as frustrated as we are with two-dimensional depictions of menopausal women. Let’s start talking about what it’s like to enter our sexuality fully, with power and sovereignty. It’s a grey Monday morning and I’m here again at my desk. I’m warming my hands with the day’s first cup of coffee and gazing again at the picture. Crows are calling from the neighbor’s rooftop. Inside of me a wave breaks against the shore.