Truth is Beauty
4 September 2013 § 2 Comments
Truth is beauty.
What would the world be like if women were safe?
A guy named X Factor who wore a white wig, told me that the question is actually more complicated than that. I said, how? And I asked him the question. What would the world be like if women were safe?
Well there’s money and greed and power and all of these things that complicate….
No, I said, wait. What would the world be like if women were SAFE. Safe from corruption. Safe from sexual predation, safe from judgment, safe from media. Safe from projection.
And I began to wonder for myself.
What would my world be like if women were safe?
Immediately I thought of the artist, Marco, who at seven heard from his mother the grisly details of the rape of his nine-year-old friend. How could Bliss Dance and Truth is Beauty, his magnificent works of art depicting dozens-feet-tall steel women in ecstatic bliss and absolute safety, validate my disgust for rape and every sort of violation of the goddess, and also turn me on? Was I okay with that?
I stood at the base of the voluptuous monolith, my head up to her ankle, and asked myself, how do I respect a woman, and want to ravish her simultaneously? How do I do that?
For most of my life, I took exclusively what I thought was the Safer route, and remained in Friend Zone territory with most women I met. It was a conscious decision that saved me the trouble of many ex-relationships. On the downside, I got to experience my sexuality in its purest form a few years later than I might have otherwise.
But I’m straying from the topic. What would the world be like if women were safe? If the vulnerability I experienced in a 57-foot-tall steel dancer whose arms reaching for the desert moon could somehow infuse itself into every woman on the playa, everyone would see the peace and happiness in this woman’s body without thinking, oh, I’d tap that.
No no no that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the moment of the temple burn, where my unique perspective from 2:34 and GDP saw this woman reaching for the sky, the pyramidal flames of the unintimate temple enveloping her, and yet not, for the temple was a quarter mile behind her.
We were trying to get out of there. I was tying up lines, with an attitude, of course, and Heather asked me if I’d taken a moment for the flames. I thought of Kara, the being of light and grace we’d met the day before and remembered her hobby of memorizing Hafiz poems and dropping the perfect one at the perfect time. Of her pursuit of a PhD. Of her radiance. How much resistance had the world offered her? How much unnecessary fight had she put up to make her way?
And what does ‘safe’ mean, anyway? Does it mean, simply, not in danger of physical harm?
Safety, for me, precedes fences and puffed out chests. Safety is the lack of need or want for protection. Is it the lack of available threat. Having no known predators. Of embracing the Unknown with curiosity, rather than suspicion.
And yet safety is not the total lack of desire on the part of men. There are ways in which we can show up with our desire and appetite that are honorable and in dignity. Of course, I didn’t find that out until I was 26, and I’m certain that many men never discover this.
Why not? Because we live in a patriarchal society? Because we were raised by women who did their best to teach us to be men, and failed? Not for lack of trying. I wonder, when did my fellow boys get so caught up in Bro Code that they forgot to look out for their sisters? I’m disgusted by our behavior. I take responsibility for not saying anything earlier. I take responsibility for stealing her attention off you, breaking our unbrotherly bond. She deserved more respect than you knew how to give her.
I’ve done this over and over again at risk of being thought a Player, or Thief. At risk of endangering their hearts, and mine.
I cannot guard alone the respectful palace. I cannot be a template for every woman I meet, and the bane of my fellow men. It doesn’t feel good anymore.
So what could I do to make the world a safer place for women?
Just like any planetary problem, it starts with individuals. What can I do for others if I cannot do for myself? I have the body of a warrior; made for protecting kin; what can I do with it to respect the feminine?
I can manage my energy well, acknowledge attraction, be authentic and transparent. I can be pure in my intentions; hide nothing, yet choose words wisely. Above all, be kind – and if I cannot manage that, then to do no harm.
It starts with Kara, with whom my last interaction occurred at Truth is Beauty. I was in love with her words and smile and hugs and humanity – my fiancee felt the same – and how do I depict this? Should I hide my attraction to this woman, or enjoy my giddiness and joy when she recites another Hafiz poem for our last moment together? Heather my lover watched on, insecure that her crush on the same woman might be usurped by, or washed up in, my cute-and-ridiculously-obvious infatuation. How could I show up for Heather, and Kara, with respect for both?
This is the kind of lesson that would have been really nice to learn when I was younger, like instruments and languages. Art takes practice. Brick walls and silence do not safety make.
Before he left, I said to X Factor, there are other, more complicated questions, for sure. And look at this piece of art. Listen to its maker, Marco, talk about how we must make a radical shift in our perspective if we’re going to thrive. Just think of an answer. What would the world be like? Some days, orgasms might flow through the streets. On others, we might wade knee deep in menstrual blood. Men would teach men to be men, and women would teach us all how to be human.