Jack Saturday

Monday, August 01, 2005



"Ah! I love solitude."
--Henry Thoreau

I digress. Come with me.

It wasn’t that I sought solitude, to begin with. I was a tumbling little chimp like the others in a little coastal fishing village, a character among characters, each kid as unique as a comic-book hero, we played War like boys do, on the great gravel schoolyard, age 6, 7, 8.

But the river of images drew me, also evoked by words in cadence—it was my mother’s fault, her refuge was books, she read to us before TV, and before we received our sentence for original sin, the “socialization” processes of public schooling, and I did not want to stop anywhere until I had found the spring of poetry, whose cadenced speech evoked such visions in a 5-year-old. It only dawned on me over a very long time that actual human beings like you and me came up with these marvels and mythologies.

I read in a work by Joseph Chilton Pearce that the spoken word fires into the brain and triggers imagery-- that is its job. He said too much TV actually destroys parts of the midbrain of little kids so that their natural imagery-production, a midbrain phenomenon, gets stunted by forced imagery from the exterior. This internal flow of imagery is the "stream of novel thought" which is always more fascinating in every way than the "stream of novel products" commercials on TV offer, but the brain-killed kids who have lost that flow of imagery will kill for Nike shoes. Makes sense. Makes senseless. Furthermore, each individual phoneme spoken in the presence of a newborn triggers a precise physical movement in the baby, revealing that spoken language has an overall kinesthetic effect. As we grow older and are taught not to move our mouths when we read, etc, that dance becomes microkinetic. If one can revive the macrokinetic aspects of speech, one becomes a bard, a shaman, a sorcerer.

At 18, my desire for a female companion usurped any meaningful relationship with solitude. A certain specific female who came and went drew me out of my past to the roads. Far away on one of them I found the companionship I sought.

And it was during the nooks and corners of solitude in those years that I started to work my clandestine relationship with the muse. Nights when my mate was at work (cocktail waitressing) brought me rare treasures of time with music or poetry, the stream of novel thought—because “solitude” to the dreamer often means depth involvement with some person not present, their own catches and captures from the river of pictures and the cadences of poetry and song, ”the dole of our wandering lips.”

Love, the treasure of plentiful sex, experiments and adventures in relationships, friends made at jobs or in musical get-togethers or on the road. The pack-bonding of one’s 20s.

It was about at the end of that decade when I took up my hatchet and chopped my way into the forest “where there was no way” (as did the knights of the Grail), and all my reading then was this pathbuilding that C.G. Jung called “individuation.” He said we “must endure the solitude that is its due.”

But by then it’s not an endurance, it’s a fierce love, as fierce as the love of freedom, and of what use is solitude without freedom?

My brief independent stretch between major relationships surprised me with its wild joy. My pathmaking, my studies, my wanderings had turned something up, that’s for sure.

Soon it was another set of social forms, another wonderful mate, another integration and interaction of stories, two galaxies interpenetrating, drawing new friends and adventures. The 20s friends were gone, away to other towns and fields. It was the job system, the hunt for income that separated us. Myself, I had crossed over the radical bridge from the ordinary life. “Do you want to go with the destiny of Tick Tock?” said Stuart Wilde. I couldn’t stand the thought.

“Open” relationships, both my long ones. We managed it for ten years and eleven years, Bertrand Russell tried it and couldn’t handle it. There’s a brag. Which I state with a laugh, but the adventure is now set in the “higher weaving” of the past, and its story and stories are in my fabric, they are not gone. Nothing is lost from the dance.

Solitary wandering, the years I wrote Freedom Resumé, but home to my loving mate while she prepared her future with jobs and schooling. Her circle was young university students, we became friends, they passed on much of the great stuff they were learning in political science and other classes. Eleven years with the length of eleven years. If I was loved and affirmed in heart-love and sexual joy in my 20s, it was doubled in my 30s. One has to expand the heart to be able to pack in the treasure. One needs solitude and open air to digest it. One has to move some old griefs and sorrows to make room.

Then the Weaver knotted the ends, and once more the individual path, off main roads, up grassy slopes. Sipping from the Grail. Wow, 40s. So it actually happens. One is never going to be 40, but then one is fifty and accepts the impossible. Right, then other things that seemed impossible ain’t either, you say.

I think I was 7 years without an intimate mate then. I had had enough and varietous sex to far surpass my father’s fantasies, who confessed that he had been unable to convince my mother of the joy of sex.

This is a serious and important subject, obviously, but many men of my father’s generation went to their graves without having that great gift of life on this planet—obviously he had had sex, but not the unmatched joy of mutual free happy erotic love-- we might blame the Victorian age which thumped female sexuality almost to death with its brutal need to dump shame and guilt and the generational trauma of Calvinism, the sickest of religious sects. As for males, it also convinced them that their desire was dark, evil. Some blamed women for their power based on male desire, and so turned to dominate, calling beautiful women sluts and whores—Internet pornography reveals the West’s sick Puritanism in the ugliness of its text.

I was talking about solitude. I digress. Come with me.

Emerged again at 50 after another adventurous mating-dance of 4 years, through the death of parents and the threat of the streets, and the continual path of my arts and reading. My erotic vision had grown naturally in the backlands, so that inspiration came to touching, we found ways of touching I hadn’t known before, coming straight from inspiration. The garden grows and produces even through long periods of not tending it. Particularly through that. Give it a rest. Pursue your art. The river is full of surprises.

Solitude. What is it? I have always camped by the river of pictures, especially since I myself experienced “the spring of poetry and wisdom” and the unmatchable ecstasy of poetical/artistic inspiration. The very best sex, I found, left the mind and heart in the field of song and poetry, as if the powerful preparation and discharge carried one over the guardians of that country like the Winged Monkeys carried Dorothy and crew over the Hammer-Heads into the land of the Quadlings.

I return there. I camp there with my magic window, the “wishing window” of my monitor through which I can wander the endless labyrinths, hallways of images and thoughts. I camp there also in green nooks about my city, reading and writing in the sun seasons. There’s a “should” in our culture that says we “should” have a mate. Having a mate is the primary unit of the social being, the strong bottom rung of societies. Women get this pressure more than men.

One can grow awkward socially. One’s values are in flux. The world's values are in flux. One is not an adolescent. Popular culture is pack-bonding material. How much social reinforcement has Monty Python created since the early 1980s with their tremendous art? How many groups of youth entertaining each other with recited lines? But I have less interest in movies than before, or what the beautiful and cool people are doing. I do not wish to pay my $10 or whatever to peek at their sex scenes, or their emotional entanglements. I am inside the human drama myself, and keep a record as best I can, or perhaps not as best I can—I pay my tribute.

I am more interested in your story than the one on the screen—your drama, your tears and longings are the real stuff, that other stuff is fake, though really big.

The idea of the zipless fuck used to attract me when eros ruled. I have no interest in it now, though if some beautiful woman offered it I might be convinced—but it doesn’t take up my fantasies. I want someone who I can talk with, someone who explores with her tongue before we even kiss, if you catch my drift—who is curious about life, who has a vital and brave curiousity. Not to say we might have a powerful embrace after 3 hours of talk in which we find rapport to enshrine our chemistry. At 50, I am in no hurry to get you to bed, nor do I consider that the goal and end of our dance. How do we feel when we look at each other without any sexual desire after it has led us and completed its process?

Ah! I love solitude. Solitude with nature and culture. In my solitude my capacity for love is cooked and improved, my appreciation for all the ways of affectionate touch, my compassion.

--Jack Saturday


Post a Comment

<< Home