My Unitarian Universalist bloggers group invited us to write about sex in observance of Valentine’s Day. Recently separated and still tumbling along through that black hole, it didn’t strike me personally as a capital idea. Too much potential for sounding desperate, dark and demented, the kind of thing I’d come across a few years hence and cry out, “My God, what could I have been thinking?”
But then I climbed on my bike.
That’s not a metaphor for some random carnal encounter—it really was my wholly inanimate bike I was climbing on, made of cold aluminum alloys and the like. But it was Friday mid-afternoon, and I had ditched work early as the temp hit close to 80 degrees on Valentine’s Eve, the sky a lovely cobalt blue, the leaves through the shady park paths still musty from last week’s rains. Ah, this world…
I don’t believe in God, but I believe in this bike, this body, this breath.
And I believe in sex.
Sex as worship, affirmation, communication, recreation, exploration, devotion, religion.
Sex as touching the very Face of God, whom I don’t believe in except pertaining to Her manifestation in sex, and my breath, and my bike and my lover and the pillow-soft clouds on this sensual late winter afternoon.
I believe in the sacramentality of things, the very objects of this world that God, whom I don’t believe in except pertaining to the countless gifts He has placed before us and inside us for our intrigue, feasting and delight.
One of those things being skin and its millions of sensational sensate receptors and oh my God the miracle that that is!
I believe that sex, among all the other things it is, is ultimately and triumphally about sanctity and worship, veneration, devotion and adoration. All those things we usually profess to an external God-as-Being, but which actually live within us as manifestations of a God whom I don’t believe in except pertaining to the wonder and bliss of union with a wonderful and blissful partner.
When I enter fully into the eyes and flesh and heart of an other, her otherness dissolves, as does mine. Union commences, the myth of the separate scared self shattered.
From scared to sacred, two letters switched, just like that. No man or woman is an island in the throes of sex.
One approaches the body of an other as a sacred object—or sacred “subject,” if you will, so we may avoid any notion of detachment and objectification. But it is sacred indeed—which is not to say eternal, in the sense that God is supposed to be eternal.
This world of death and decay (and miracle and wonder) is the world that the Gods have made, whom I don’t believe in, except pertaining to the pain of separation and suffering with which They teach me about the preciousness of this world and the persons whom I love within it, in all the ways that I do.
No, our sexual partners are not God, but they are godly, animated by a spirit singular unto themselves, breathed into by a God whom I believe in with all my body and heart and might and passion and love, and always will.
A live version of this surpassingly beautiful-tender ballad with Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor and The Chieftains tempted me here, but you can go find it on You Tube after enjoying this classic version by Van the Man himself.
For periodic and brief posts of inspiring words from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by the usual lovely photography as exemplified here, see my public Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TraversingBlog
Deep appreciation as always to the photographers:
Rotating banner photos at top of page and photo of dunes courtesy of Elizabeth Haslam, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/
Photo of rose at top of page by Serena, somewhere in Europe, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/people/zenera/
For more posts on sexuality from the UU blogger’s group, see #sexUUality