Life is Erotic

by Julie on April 10, 2010 · 27 comments

Yoshino Cherry Tree Blossoms

I want to do to you what Spring does with cherry trees. ~ Neruda

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I’ve been contemplating Neruda for days now. Discovering this one simple quote, above, led me to this poem of his. And I melted. Oh, my, what this poem exudes.

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I posted a few lines:

Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.

A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.

on Facebook and Twitter, and what came back was rapturous delight from women. Gasps. Oohs. Aahs.

I didn’t receive pithy statements about the beauty of the lines, but rather short exclamations of feeling.

Feeling. Something wakes up in us when we experience these words.

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Life is erotic. Life re-creates itself, over and over. Life is an impulse, a continual impulse to come into existence. Life is birthing itself in every moment.

“What does God do all day long? God gives birth. From all eternity God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” Meister Eckhart

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Most of the lessons we’ve internalized about ‘what Spring does to cherry trees’ isn’t about life or God or ooh and ahh. Think of a nice big fat cherry pie. What we’ve been taught to believe is like taking that cherry pie and cutting the tiniest sliver out of it, then serving it up as the whole pie. The slice is so small, it can’t even stand on its own. And it doesn’t even taste like cherry pie anymore.

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Pleasure, Eros, Sensuality, Sexuality. These themes are woven into Neruda’s works, but he speaks of life, of earth, of people, of longing, of creation, of love.

And in these lines, he wraps the oh-so-humble elements of this human earthly existence in robes of divinity:

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.

Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

We are sensual beings. We live in one big erotic field. Life is pulsing through our veins. Life throbs. Life longs.

In spring, we are in the outward, pulsating part of the cycle of life. Just as in the cherry tree, we feel this pulsing, this desire, this longing to create.

It’s actually really practical, too. When your creations and actions flow from this inner impulse, they come from the intelligence that is life. They are vibrantly alive and captivatingly juicy.

This impulse is a guide to truth and integrity. It is a guide to aliveness and to joy. It is a guide to feeling all of what life offers, even those feelings we’ve pushed away for so long. It is a guide to pleasure and the land of the unknown.

I could feel this in the women who responded with alive oohs and aahs. Our power lies in our bodies, in waking up to and living in the divinity that breathes fire into each and every female cell.

Do I dare live, love and create from this place? Do you? Do we?

Image by Cliff1066 under CC3.0

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Renae C April 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

Unlearning the old lessons and learning new ones – the rich, dripping, full and pulsating new ones – is the journey of a lifetime.

Reading Neruda’s words – and yours – almost makes me blush. But you are right. And oh my, what might come if we could live and create out of this lush ripeness.

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Julie April 10, 2010 at 9:31 am

Dear Renae, Blushing? Oh, good. You’re cells are fired up with that luscious life force. Maybe it’s the work of a life time, but right now in this moment, that’s what is real. You are feeling it. You are experiencing it. It is what is real, not those old lessons, beliefs and concepts.
Thank you, as always, for your continued conversation. I relish it…and you.

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Dian Reid April 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

“When your creations and actions flow from this inner impulse, they come from the intelligence that is life. They are vibrantly alive and captivatingly juicy. … Do I dare live, love and create from this place? Do you? Do we?”

I think we must, Julie. Oh, yes, we MUST! If we don’t live, love and/or create from this place, I feel like we’re not truly living. And if we’re not truly living, then we’re dying. And of course, we’re dying every day, but oh if we could LIVE every day, then wouldn’t that be something?!

“What does God do all day long? God gives birth.”

I feel this. God has given birth to us all, and I believe it is up to us to repay the gift. Life is erotic. And like everything else, we just have to look around to see it. Look around to be inspired by it. Look around to act upon it. Look around to be the life, to be the erotic gift that God has created within us.

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emma April 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

wow, oh wow, oh wow. This resonates so deeply with me, Julie. Thank you for raising the challenge to live, love and create from that vibrant, inner place. It can be so scary and overwhelming but I agree with Dian – we must do it. Because not doing it does, indeed, feel so very wrong.

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Meg April 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Add me to the list of “oooh ahhh!” #^_^#

“Reading Neruda’s words – and yours – almost makes me blush. But you are right. And oh my, what might come if we could live and create out of this lush ripeness.”

That! :D We are living, breathing creatures whose inheritance and existence includes that sense of the erotic-creative. It’s healthy even if we often deny it.

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Coyopa April 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Great post (again!) Julie – this time of year in particular is so erotic, so potent with creative lifeforce. Over winter, I’d been seriously considering becoming a Zen monk. My Spring self looks back and laughs at my Winter self as if it were a deathly stranger to Life.

That Neruda line: I want to do to you what Spring does with cherry trees… This has been one of my favourite Neruda lines, indeed lines of any poet, for a long time. Neruda is so lush, so sensual and connected to the fragrant, erotic Earth…

Thanks for posting, Julie – for making explicit the great erotic pulse of this time :)

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Kate T.W. April 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Yesss!

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Pam April 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

Nice to see your excitement for the beauty of life, Julie.

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Michelle April 12, 2010 at 9:26 am

As I responded to you on twitter, I completely agree with you about Neruda. His poetry is so passionate! I often write down lines of his and stick them on my mirror. It helps me keep in touch with my feminine side while I get ready for my day!

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Holly April 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

This post is resonating on an all time high with me Julie! The more deeply I feel the earth’s body, the more I realize my own body’s deep connection to her…we are one and the same being, both pulsing with a rhythmic life force that is flooded with eros. It is only when we strip away all this beautiful entangled life force that we are left with a trivial, vulgar view of eros. Eros in her full beauty is entwined throughout ALL of life; the flowers, the buds, the rivers, the rocks and our own bodies. It is only when the deep rift between sexuality and spirituality can be reunited that we will be fully whole. We feel this beautiful flow of life force most fully in the spring when the cyclical awakening and birthing is in full force!! Ah, what the spring does for the cherry trees is a joy and a miracle to behold!

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whollyjeanne April 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

the peonies. the cherry blossoms. oooh. aaah. aliveness. joy. yessss. impulse. create. truth. integrity. pleasure. cycles. miracles. – those things i relate to and say “ditto”.

and to relearning how to slice and share the pie, i say a hearty ABSOLUTELY. let’s offer workshops, and let’s do it now. i’m not kidding.

love you, darling. love you to a crisp.

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Jennifer Prentice April 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm

“This impulse is a guide to truth and integrity. It is a guide to aliveness and to joy. It is a guide to feeling all of what life offers, even those feelings we’ve pushed away for so long.”

May we all live life in such a way that we take the good with the bad and never push away the things that will ultimately make us more alive in the end.

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Ronna April 17, 2010 at 10:54 am

“…waking up to and living in the divinity that breathes fire into each and every female cell. Do I dare live, love and create from this place? Do you? Do we?”

Ooh. Aah. Absolutely! How can we not? It call. It woos. It seduces. It invites. It empowers. I’m SO there!!!

And grateful to be “there” with you! Yes, fire!

Provocative, alluring, and beautiful as always, Julie.

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steve December 29, 2010 at 9:25 am

Julie,

Superb piece! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Steve

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Julie December 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Dear Steve,
Thank you for coming by and sharing your comment.
Happy New Year to you, too.
Julie

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Tom January 23, 2011 at 6:21 am

The air was cool and refreshing at the dawn of a new spring day.

The light from the sun smiled gently through the fog and onto the welcoming petals.

The petals opened in anticipation of receiving the sensual warm of the suns rays.

The moisture from the dew made the petals sparkle in a celebratory array of colors while the seductive fragrance of the flower burst into the air.

The day was off to a beautiful beginning.

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Julie January 23, 2011 at 7:04 am

Beautiful, Tom, simply lovely. Thank you.

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Tom January 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Your are most welcome Julie. Not quite as good as Neruda, but I’ve written a few that I am proud of, this is one.

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Kim April 16, 2011 at 4:35 am

Julie, you should redirect to this post every spring. You and Neruda really capture that feeling of spring, and erotic is a perfect word for it. I am inspired for my photographing spring workshop tomorrow!

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