L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Monday, August 16, 2010

A sensual nature

Sensuality means different things to different people. Depends on what you enjoy, really. Most would define it as an indulgence of the senses. Any or all of them. A surrendering to them. Through food or physical touch, through visual or aural richesse. A revelatory dining experience, a perfect massage, the smell of a campfire in the desert. I think, most of the time, this stimulation of the senses is best enjoyed in a quiet, unhurried setting. In a state of pleasant lassitude. Something akin to the famous luxe, calme et volupté of Baudelaire's L'Invitation au voyage:

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

[There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.]

Of course many, if not most, people equate sensuality with sex. And little more. They're unable to separate the two. And certainly they go quite well together. But there is so much in the world, subtle and luscious. With smells and tastes that, by nature, are programmed for our delight. And I think we'd all be better off as humans, have more reverence for life and nature, if we strove to remember that an appreciation of the sensual might extend a little further than the urge to fill one orifice and empty another.

As an example of another sort of sensuality, from recent experience:

A ripe blackberry. Pulled from the cane, heated through with sun. The dark purple of its fragile skin, the soft rounds breaking with even the most careful touch, pooling shiny velvet-red on your fingertips. On your tongue, in one stroke, you crush it against the roof of your mouth. The sweet juice flooding over your tongue and the exquisite perfume ascending.

Is there anything in the world that could compare with this, could replicate this particular wondrous object, this beautiful and startling experience? Gigi and I got to share this ridiculously simple and profound thing last week; I'm so fortunate that I share my life with someone who searches for beauty and the sensual experience as I do.


  1. And the part about orifices? Hehehe!

    (I shocked myself.)

  2. shocked me too! but all the rest. oh...!

  3. orifices.. you risque fellow.. or were you going for scatological? hehehe indeed!

  4. Decidedly NOT! But G went there, too.

  5. I was in the Mt. Tabor dog park, walking on a dusty path under the pines and I caught a whiff of that warm, summery blackberry smell. A small plant, unseen by the gardeners, had been so bold as to produce a few berries, and they were scenting the air with their ripeness. I stood for a few minutes, and just inhaled. A syrupy sweet balm to my soul.

  6. Indeed, Diane! Les petites choses can have such an effect!