November 15, 2009
Pioneers! O Pioneer!
by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”-Stacey Charter
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ” – Edward Everett Hale
“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” -E E Cummings
November 14, 2009
PINK SHERBET PHOTOGRAPHY
The union of color and emotion in D. Sharon Pruitt’s photography is mesmerizing. Her ability to accentuate the beauty in life is captured in every frame.
November 11, 2009
“The French Revolution was made poignantly memorable by the literary works of Victor Hugo (1802-1885). Such works as Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame forever memorialized the plight of the unfortunate working class. Adele Foucher grew up with Victor Hugo and at the age of 17, Hugo fell madly in love with her.
Although both families were opposed to their union, the couple became secretly engaged, determined to marry.
For three years Victor Hugo and Adele Foucher exchanged secret messages. The following letter was written shortly after Hugo was promised a pension from Louis XVIII as a reward for his loyalty. This pension allowed the couple to marry. Their
marriage lasted until Adele’s death in 1868.”
THE LOVE LETTER
Friday evening, March 15, 1822.
After the two delightful evenings spent yesterday and the day before, I shall certainly not go out tonight, but will sit here at home and write to you. Besides, my Adele, my adorable and adored Adele, what have I not to tell you? O, God! for two days, I have been asking myself every moment if such happiness is not a dream. It seems to me that what I feel is not of earth. I cannot yet comprehend this cloudless heaven.
You do not yet know, Adele, to what I had resigned myself. Alas, do I know it myself? Because I was weak, I fancied I was calm; because I was preparing myself for all the mad follies of despair, I thought I was courageous and resigned. Ah! let me cast myself humbly at your feet, you who are so grand, so tender and strong! I had been thinking that the utmost limit of my devotion could only be the sacrifice of my life; but you, my generous love, were ready to sacrifice for me the repose of yours.
You have been privileged to receive every gift from nature, you have both fortitude and tears. Oh, Adele, do not mistake these words for blind enthusiasm – enthusiasm for you has lasted all my life, and increased day by day. My whole soul is yours. If my entire existence had not been yours, the harmony of my being would have been lost, and I must have died — died inevitably.
These were my meditations, Adele, when the letter that was to bring me hope of else despair arrived. If you love me, you know what must have been my joy. What I know you may have felt, I will not describe.
My Adele, why is there no word for this but joy? Is it because there is no power in human speech to express such happiness?
The sudden bound from mournful resignation to infinite felicity seemed to upset me. Even now I am still beside myself and sometimes I tremble lest I should suddenly awaken from this dream divine.
Oh, now you are mine! At last you are mine! Soon — in a few months, perhaps, my angel will sleep in my arms, will awaken in my arms, will live there. All your thoughts at all moments, all your looks will be for me; all my thoughts, all my moments, all my looks, will be for you! My Adele!
Adieu, my angel, my beloved Adele! Adieu! I will kiss your hair and go to bed. Still I am far from you, but I can dream of you. Soon perhaps you will be at my side. Adieu; pardon the delirium of your husband who embraces you, and who adores you, both for this life and another.
November 8, 2009
“My first time, hard to explain, Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain On a cloudy day, it’s more common than you think. He’s my first mistake.”
A poetic description of a first time, two lines in Vanessa Carlton’s song ‘White Houses,’ tells the story of a girl who loses her virginity during a summer of love . For those that have done the deed, the first time is always remembered, no matter how good or bad it was. And for those that have not, the idea of their first time hangs inside their mind, colored with excitement, fear and the hope of mindful discovery.
But what does it mean to be a Virgin? Our society has a way of scrambling and re-defining words based upon the current trends of morality. I.e., if we are not kind then we alter the meaning of the word kind in order to sustain sanity, deflect our true reflection and ignore our flaws. We subtract, add, divide and multiply a word until it resembles something we can swallow, something that makes us feel comfortable in the unflattering parts of ourselves, something that allows us to be functionally dysfunctional.
These thoughts were provoked after I read an article on Wired.com called, “Artificial Virginity Hymen. Yes, It Exists.” The article spoke of a vaginal gadget from Japan sold by Gigimo, a Chinese Sex Toy company. The $30 product consists of an artificial hymen that allows women to fake their virginity it reads;
“No more worry about losing your virginity. With this product, you can have your first night back anytime. Insert this artificial hymen into your vagina carefully. It will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrates, it will ooze out a liquid that look like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans, you will pass through undetectable. It’s easy to use, clinically proven non-toxic to human and has no side effects, no pain to use and no allergic reaction.”
VIRGIN RESTORATION, FOR SOME, A CULTURAL NECESSITY
Although it is a nice thought to believe that the main purpose of developing an artificial hymen product was solely to protect women in countries where losing their virginity could in fact result in the loss of their life, unfortunately it seems more geared towards carnal reasons.
In cases where a woman is violated or is not born with one, hymen restoration is an understandable solution. In the Egyptian Islamic culture premarital sex is forbidden and can lead towards “honor” killings or violent punishments. In some conservative Muslim customs, violence or ostracism is a risk. In countries where virginity is held as a prized possession over a life, this product seems to be a necessary solution to a cultural rule of propriety that is only held over the heads of women and not men.
VIRGINITY, A BRIEF HISTORY
The origination of the word ‘Virgin’ comes from the Greek and Latin word maiden or “Virgo.” Virginity began as a term of power, often used in Greek mythology as a term of classification for Goddess such as Artemis and Hestia. Hestia, whose name means “the essence,” is the goddess of Hearth and was notorious for her inner world focus rather than outer world focus. Artemis, the Goddess of wilderness, wild animals, and fertility, is associated with chastity and as known as the protector of the venerable. These goddesses were immune to the temptations of Dionysus, the God of wine and seduction. In Greek mythology, Dionysus invented the process of growing grapes and creating wine. Woman and men worshiped him, dancing and drinking. The word “orgy” comes from these wild celebratory gatherings.
Virginity has played a pivotal role in history with the unbroken hymen being used as symbolism of purity. There is the case of Elizabeth Bathory a.k.a “Blood Countess,” a 16th Century Hungarian Countess who insanely bathed and supposedly drank the blood of over 600 virgins in order to preserve her beauty.
Virginity played a major role in one of the most famous reigns of all time, that of Queen Elizabeth the I; also referred to as the Virgin Queen, the Good Queen Bess, the Faerie Queen, Virgin Goddess and Gloria. Queen Elizabeth was the 5th and the last ruler belonging to the Tudor dynasty from November 17, 1558 until her death in 1603. It was her virginity that exalted her to a 45-year reign embroidered with mystery, power and tales of parallel allusion to the chaste moon-goddess Diana.
November 7, 2009
THE VIRGIN or SOMETHING LIKE THAT
The question is this, what does it mean to be a virgin? It cannot solely be based upon whether a hymen is intact because there are ways outside of sex that it can be broken, i.e. strenuous sports exercise, wearing a tampon, and childhood accidents (monkey bars). The hymen does not determine a virgin rather what determines a virgin on a physical level is someone who has not been involved in sexual intercourse. Being a virgin is not just a state of physicality, it is also a way of thinking and being. I’ve met “virgins” who did everything but sexual intercourse, i.e oral sex, anal sex and/ or kissing/make-out fiends. Not giving into extreme carnal sexual situations or pleasures, whether it is short or long-term is part of the code of a virgin.
The virgin archetypes originated from Goddesses that were not asexual but from goddesses who expressed their sexuality with control, openness, confidence and shamelessness. They were not slaves to their sexuality or partners and did not find their power in bartering or giving their sexuality away but in keeping it. The virgin, whether man or woman, is one who understand the power of sex and exercises patience, intelligence and faith when going about their relationships and sexual decisions.
With the exception of using the Artificial Virgin Hymen for life saving purposes, it seems wrong if a woman is using it to trick, deceive or manipulate the truth. The problem is that virginity should not be looked upon as something that can be re-done, as once lost it cannot be restored. That being said, not being a virgin does not mean one cannot be or become virtuous in their ways of sex and relationship dealings. I have friends who have had sex but work towards being more virtuous in their decision making process. When it comes to finding “the one” or maximizing on happiness, even if one has had sex it’s always wise to understand the psychological and emotional affects of promiscuity. Although the past and some cultures have had and have some extreme and wrong views on virginity, it does not mean that going in the opposite direction is the answer. Happiness and fulfillment generally seem to be attained when things are in balance.
We seem to be living in a time that exists in a state of extreme desensitization and consists of overly exposed sexual images on teenage shows, girls and women who flash their privates at a shot of fame or just to be shallowly admired. It seems that things happen in reverse nowadays; people have sex then truly meet. In my eyes, an odd trend and idea that has been spreading to the youth creating baseless relationships upon which promiscuity is accepted and exalted and virtuousness trivialized.
Take for example this past Halloween my friend and I went to the West Hollywood parade, it was my first time, and although quite enjoyable almost every girl in sight was stripped down in what looked like lingerie parading as costumes. It was sensory overload. There is nothing wrong with showing your best assets because it makes you feel good, but when you become a walking advertisement, you should not be shocked by what you attract. Their intent might have been to exude sensuality or sexiness, but it appeared as a desperate plea for attention, a subconscious void filling ploy to validate their worth by men. I noticed the same with some of the men that night, but it was more present with the women’s costumes. In most of the research I conducted, I found no accounts of the importance of men and virginity or virtuousness in history or in present time. I do think it is unfair that the world has put pressure and an expectation for women to be virginal or virtuous and permit men to not work towards the same ideals. Women just as men deserve to be with a man of great virtue. When it comes to being sexy, exuding sensuality and sexual courtship, whether you are a man or a woman,more often then none, more is less and slow but steady will always win the race.