This week, I bought a rose. A real rose bush. This might seem like small potatoes, but for a city girl goes through about four basil plants every summer because she can’t keep a single one alive in her kitchen, having my own rose plant is a big deal. I feel a bit like a 13-year old who’s been given the assignment to carry around an egg for a week and pretend it’s my baby.
I bought the rose because lately I’ve been ruminating on just how articulately we see the dance of seduction play out in the relationship between the rose and the sun. The sun seduces life into being, in the rose, and in us. That warm, bright light wakes us up every morning and without question, we follow its lead. At twilight when the sun takes its final bow, our own internal cycles shift into the rhythm of rest. And as the sun descends behind the curtain of the horizon, a whole new show begins.
The star of that show of course, is the moon. Oh, the seduction of the moon, that literal force of nature. Did you know that the moon’s irresistibly is the whole reason we have a high and low tide? Everything on earth that is not nailed down by the force of gravity yearns toward the pull of the moon. Her magnetism is literally strong enough to make the ocean leave the shore. And with those slow striptease cycles of wax to wane, who wouldn’t line up for that big burlesque in the sky? The moonlight nurtures my rose silently in the night. After a good moon bath I can wake up and find my girl who was just a bud the night before, suddenly full as a poodle skirt.
My rose is a deep, pulsing pink at the center of her bloom, but on the outside her petals fade to white, like a goddess in repose. Glimpsing into her center is like glimpsing into eternity. The name of her species is called “Sweet Surrender”. It’s a beautiful name, but a bit too petite for how I see her. So voluptuous and voluminous is she that after just one day, watering can in hand, I naturally nicknamed her “Mama Cass”.
When tending roses you must obey the energies at play, just like with seduction. For example, you can’t just cut a stem from the bush anytime you want. There is a specific moment in her growth cycle when she let’s you know she is ready. Act before that moment and she will teach you a lesson by taking eons to re-appear, if at all. Act too late and she will hang her head in disappointment at your lack of attention, leaving you both feeling heartbroken and a little embarrassed.
But I think the thing that has me most taken with this romance between the elements and my rose is the speed at which the two lovers embrace. It’s like they had eternity to do so, which if you think about it, I suppose they do. Like teenagers, one minute she looks all green and innocent and tiny, the next thing you know that little bud shows she’s been up to something with her cheeks all flush and blush. The rose and the elements play a chess game that teems with sexual tension. Like master dancers, they transcend the experience of moving as two separate beings and meld into one ecstatic entity.
When I say that seduction is a way of life, people often ask me what that means. Well, this is exactly what it means. When the roots of my rose reach down towards the core of the earth like a child reaching for a parent, or like a taste bud that reaches toward the promise of a ripe summer strawberry, that is life as a love affair. That is the erotic in action. The erotic is not something sequestered to the bedroom when two naked humans come together. Ha! Can you imagine if the rose and the sun only carried out their romance behind closed doors? We’d never get anything done!
As I write to you in this moment, balmy, humid, southern air presses against my skin and collects in the web of my fingers. The chair I am sitting in holds me like an old friend. I am getting drunk on the fragrance of Mama Cass as I bury my nose deep in her center, the same way a lover would bury their nose deep in mine. And this is how I live an erotic life.
Sometimes when we hear the expression “make your life a love affair” it conjures images of Hallmark cards and champagne, bubble baths in heart shaped tubs with a Ken doll look-alike to wash your back. This gives the impression that unless your love affair with life feels like a commercial for an 80’s love ballad compilation CD, you must be failing in some way. Give me a break!
A really good love affair is earthy, dark and moist – like mulch. It’s a tight, tall, elegant, green stem that is only made better by the danger of a thorn. It is the orgasm of the bloom, an orgasm that lasts WAY longer than 5-9 seconds. It is the orgasm that lives on for eternity, because it never leaves your heart. It leaves an imprint on your soul like the jaguar leaving a footprint in the mud.
Tonight, when your sweet head descends toward the down feathers of your pillow, and your spirit descends into the realm of sleep, take with you this love song from the original Mama Cass, and hear this message from my rose to your ears: (click the words to hear her sing)
Photos by Moi!