Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pathways, Bridges & Walls

I've just finished reading a recent post at what is perhaps my favorite blog: Sexuality In The Arts. Its title is deceptive in the sense of what it implies about the blog. It's a lot about the arts, yes. But it's also about loving, living and how personal expression can have an impact on lives - privately, socially, politically and spiritually.

Perhaps because of the path I'm currently traveling, One More Option, the author of Sexuality In The Arts, has become a sort of teacher. As is typical, OMO's post is about a lot of things but what I've taken away from it most is this, the ending paragraph:

I’m not a big fan of traditional boundaries. When life has given me boundaries, I’ve often responded by building sustainable archways, gates, bridges and tunnels - anything that might help people avoid being confined.

Whether it be physical, political or spiritual confinement, I can think of nothing more hellish. I find it especially sad when people impose confinement and isolation upon themselves and resist those who, in good faith, attempt to offer another path. Perhaps that path is not where they think they want to go. And granted, there are paths of various lengths, that lead to many places; not all of them acceptable to all of us.

My feeling is that we can walk down a path that is not for us, perhaps by the hand of someone else and still hold tight to who we are and what we believe. If that path is not leading to a place we like, or the view is not what we want to see along the way, we can always come back to where we started or take another path that leads back to where we want to be. To me that doesn't necessarily mean we have to unconditionally accept the path that is not for us. What it means is that we walked it and that we attempted to do so in another's shoes. It could very well mean that the path was not for us but it does give us another perspective. Perhaps even some common ground with the person who invited us to walk.

What I hold as an ideal for myself is not always how I manage to behave. I try. I try so hard. Mostly I fail, as I consider myself much more of a student than a teacher or sage. When I see how very far I have to go, I feel infantile. It does not stop me from attempting those few first steps. When I read something like the post by OMO, I feel a sense of wanting to try even harder. That is why I look up to her so much.

Paths not walked, when we are invited to do so, are a type of confinement. I choose to walk the paths I'm invited to walk upon. There are bridges, many bridges, that I want so badly to cross and have no idea how. I want to learn how. Everywhere I turn there are walls. We can either curl up and accept our confinement or we can paint a picture, write a poem or compose a song. Others then can see what we have to say. If we're lucky, we can be invited to tear down the wall - together - when we can see what each of us have to say and where it may lead us.

One More Option: thank you for being my teacher.
Yours in Peace,
Pagan Sphinx


  1. Thanks for the tip to Sexuality in the Arts.

    I just finished listening to an audio book about a girl who stole books to learn how to read. Not to give too much away, but one element of the story was about a Jewish man in hiding who took pages from Mein Kampf, painted over them with white paint and used them for a sketchbook. I loved the very idea of that.

  2. Hi, D
    I recall you writing about the audio book. It sounds excellent; just the type of reading I love.

    I'm currently reading Water for Elephants; one of the books suggested to me by a fellow blogger but I'm still deciding what to read next.

    Even if don't read the book (but I'm hoping to), I share your sentiment: "I love the very idea of that". Exactly.

    Thank you.

  3. i agree.i walk my own path but not so most would notice. tho i have wandered with most i've met along my journey. i learn as i go and my path changes a bit.

  4. This is not entirely off topic and yet...
    Have you any interest in writing a short story about actual or emagned or longed for murder? Ms.Dcup and I are colleting them with the hope, no the intention and determination to publish a collection of such stories. If you are interested email either Dcup or me. My story is posted at my short story link on my site. Come take a look and see what you think. the talented Dcup has designed a beautiful book cover which is on our secure site for submissions.

  5. Ms. Utah,
    I find your comment entirely "on-topic". I left a comment on your blog.

    Thank you for stopping by and for the kind invitation. I hope we will be in touch.

    Yours in Peace,

  6. Sherry: your comment reminds me of a bumper sticker slogan an old friend of mine had on his car:

    "All who wander are not lost."

    Further, from reading your blog daily for a few months now, I would say that your path is most certainly noticeable to those who take the time to walk with you.

    Thank you, as always, for commenting.

    Peace to you my friend.

  7. I couldn't find the comment link for the post below. In one word: abominable.

    I am so glad you liked the book!!

  8. P.S. You might also like The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. I am about to finish that one.

  9. Kenju: hahahahaaha

    Regarding books: I'm a much slower reader than you! I have so damn much to do to prepare for my mother's visit. The house is a mess and I'm slowly getting to the bottom of the clutter. I sneak a little reading in but my long stretches are only going to come in August when I go on vacation. No blogging will help with getting books read.

  10. Those are wonderful sentiments and intentions to aspire to, Gurrrl. I like the idea of doors and bridges, though I'm sometimes blind to my opportunities.

  11. CR: Thanks. You know how I struggle with certain things. But a grrrrl's gotta have convictions.

    Aren't we all blind to those opportunities at times? That is precisely why I'm making such conscious efforts.

  12. I have read this post in my reader twice and now once more.

    And the link!

    All I can say is this- thank you for this. You have a unique gift of wisdom and a generous spirit.

    And a deeply creative one at that. THAT is sexuality in the arts too.

  13. Dearest Fran,
    I thank you with all my heart for taking the time to read my words in an effort to absorb them. It means a lot to me that you did so.

    Yours in peace,


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