About a month ago, I asserted that my current attempts to “make meaning” would necessitate a re-ordering of my interests, goals, and desires. I now believe that wasn’t quite correct. The further along I guide myself through this exercise in making something impactful and imprintable out of my life, the less I view the process as requiring a change in perspective, and the more I see it as a shedding of skin. As a means of getting to the crux of who I am. To finally know what kind of work—what kind of life—my talents are best suited for. To engage in a slow and seductive dance with that which truly sets my soul on fire.
Of course, I can’t be certain this is what I am supposed to feel, or even if I am “doing it right” by any formal standards, but I can say with a degree of certainty, that I think I am dangerously close to—or have, perhaps, even stumbled upon—what I’ve been looking for. And it wasn’t without the help of my readers, either. Your questions and observations have aided me a great deal in questioning my own assumptions and in viewing my own writings through a variety of different lenses. As I am sure they will continue to. For that, I thank you. It wasn’t until last night, though, as I was reading the interview, “Anaïs Nin Talks About Being a Woman,” that I came across a few sentences that struck me and incited a firestorm of mental activity: “…but I do remember Dr. Otto Rank, who analyzed me in Paris, saying that we didn’t really understand the psychology of women, that women had not yet articulated their experience…Men invented soul, philosophy, religion. Women have perceptions that are difficult to describe, at least in intellectual terms.”
Yes. I had to ask myself if this still held true. After all, Rank died in 1939. The answer, I believe, is “yes.” At least, for some of us. Those who find in ourselves a resolute and untamable feminine core. That is, perhaps, the core I have been working toward giving a definitive voice to since I started this blog. (I mean, haven’t I already begun doing it?) Until now, within me, it’s been a voice that whispered. And after all of my other layers, my other selves, have been stripped away, it remains. Fixed and sure of itself.
I, perhaps, could have guessed this would happen. It’s not shocking to me that I might find a profound desire to articulate the aspects of my experience as a woman that I’ve never heard articulated before—at least not in any sort of meaningful way. Nin’s work might be the exception. What it means to “feel like a woman,” to “feel pretty,” to “feel sexy,” to experience any number of complex and eminently erotic states that are often discounted as frivolous, juvenile, or unenlightened. Even—and often especially—by other women.
I feel a compulsion to give voice to those experiences within myself. Because they matter. And, I am discovering that (though not without difficulty, at times) I seem to be inclined toward this kind of writing. I enjoy it very much. I anticipate my next post will be titled, “On Feeling Pretty” (barring the interjection of a sexy poem or two). And it will be a serious examination of a feeling that is rooted in the most lighthearted and playful of rituals.