Seizing Every Moment
For a moment, I was a human bird hovering over a concrete earth, watching the green leaves above me sway under the summer heat. It’s easy to forget that the trees are there, since I keep myself sequestered indoors most of the time. But the lure of the swimming pool’s liberation was too much to deny on that hot day, and thus I was reminded of a long-standing promise to myself.
There was a time when I had no choice but to remain indoors, a time during which the very idea that I might stand up and walk across the floor of my room in the nursing home – let alone out of my own apartment and across a pool deck – was a wonderful, motivational dream. One day an attendant wheeled me outdoors and I was met by the sound of the wind caressing the leaves of trees in a nearby park. The sound stood in stark contrast to the never-ending drone of televisions, people, and medical equipment inside the facility. I promised myself that in the future, I would notice the leaves.
Today, my office and bedroom share a common balcony, ringed loosely by trees. Whether I’m working or playing, when the rains comes I can hear the drops patter on their leaves. On contemplative days, I stand on the balcony, gazing out as though looking into the future. Mostly, I remember the past and wonder what lies ahead. The road to where I am has been so irregular that it’s hard to know where it will lead. So much love made, so much passion expended, so many tears shed, so many harsh and kind words exchanged, so many years since that day in the wheelchair when I was a recent college graduate and clerical temp who wanted to be a writer.
My obsessions have long been history and anthropology, sexuality and religion, art and science. I have always been fascinated by the difference between the official stories told by societies and the reality of the lives lived by their people, that silent majority that has often worn one face in public and quite another in private. I’ve always wondered what would happen if people could find their true faces and wear them whenever it suited them to do so. Are honesty and propriety invariably at odds with one another – particularly as regards our sexuality?
I’ve never found this to be the case at any of my parties or events. As I walked the aisles of the adult theatre where I held my 3rd Annual Masturbate-a-Thon, I was impressed by the warm sense of friendly acceptance, curiosity, and respect. I smiled and waved at friends and guests as they chatted amiably with one another, some dressed, some undressed, some puzzling over how to use a particular toy, others clearly well versed in the use of a favorite device or technique, still others perfectly content to browse vendor tables, play party games, or admire a particularly steamy moment in the evening’s passion play. As I watched those about me, interacted with them, and moved on, I realized that I felt a clarity and peace much akin to that I feel while noticing my leaves.
We are the latest leaves in the Homo Sapiens Sapiens’ family tree. One day we will fall, and be replaced by another season of life. Let us live every day of our season; let us notice and kindly appreciate one another.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –