The Body

A Musing on Pleasure.— Imagine a door so rare and enticing in its loveliness that passing through its frame engenders an immediate obsession with the act of passing through as such, and thus an overwhelming desire to open that door again, and then again, until one can hardly stand the thought of ever walking away from it, for fear of losing contact with that safely, predictably accessible joy of entering. (Or was it exiting? Who remembers?) Thus the very wonder of potent promise draws the spiritually weak or fatally unguided into a vortex of the mundane, a repetition of the all-too-well-known, passing perpetually through the same tempting doorway, until at last one forgets what made the door so attractive in the first place — namely its rumor of revealed mysteries beyond — and gradually loses the taste for anything more strenuous than the immediate and easy satisfaction of the lust for entering (exiting?) that doorway once more, without ever transcending it. So one cleaves to that doorway with increasingly hopeless agitation, praying to recapture, and then asking the gods with growing consternation why one cannot recapture, the profound excitement that made that doorway seem so transformative and life-enhancing at the outset, as the lust inevitably ebbs into a merely distracting, preoccupying nervous tic. A nervous tic is all that remains of an enticement when the hidden goal of that enticement — life itself, perhaps — is lost to one’s vision in a fit of short-sightedness, which is to say materiality.

The body — at first —
a door to the outside; then —
a whisper: “Come back.”

We spend years groping
after holes in which to hide
from the source of light.

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