By Lisabet Sarai
Dear Lisabet in the future -
How far in the future am I imagining? Ten years? Thirty? Fifty? Perhaps you'll revisit these journal pages more than once, at different stages in your life, trying to recapture this time of youthful discovery.
What will you (I) be like in a decade, or in half a dozen? I rather assume you'll be more confident than I am, less riddled with doubt and scarred by envy, more satisfied with yourself. By that time you will hopefully have realized the futility of constantly comparing yourself to others and finding yourself lacking. Obviously you will be wiser. I've spent enough time around older, even elderly, people to know that wisdom does often come with age and experience.
I worry, though, that too much experience may dull your senses and emotions. Will you lose the ability to feel the thrill of new insights, fierce revelations like those that overwhelm me almost daily during this crazy period in my life? Will you brush off the wild passion and transcendent pleasure I describe as merely the effects of hormones or marijuana? Looking back at your twenty-six year old self, will you shake your head in embarrassment and tell your friends, “I was such an awful slut.”?
Don't. You know more than I, have done more, achieved more, but still I have some advice for you. Remember this.
Remember the electrifying feel of first skin. Remember the exultation of being joined, the richness of emptiness filled. Remember the telepathic communication – don't shrug it off as mere fantasy. At least be willing to consider the possible existence of psychic links potentiated by carnal connection. As for me, I'm convinced that sex, God and magick are three names for the same thing. I'm not a slut. I'm a spiritual seeker.
Remember that love lies at the very core of your being – yours and that of everyone else. Even a stranger has lessons to teach, if you're willing to learn. Remember, if you can, how it feels to be open to it all, even the pain, to give and receive as part of a virtuous, outrageous circle.
Of course, you won't recall the physical sensations. Even now, just hours later, I can't conjure them here on the page. Sense impressions are ephemeral, impossible to capture in words. All you can do is hint and suggest, using analogy and metaphor, roughing out the shape of the experience and allowing the reader's memory to fill in the details.
I hope, though, that you'll remember the joy bubbling in your chest as you go about your daily business after a night with your lover. Remember the awe when you pushed past another barrier, connecting more deeply than ever before. Remember your amazement and pride, admiring the fading marks from his crop on your rear. Never forget the devastating flood of tenderness when you first pursed your lips around her trembling nipple.
The intensity will fade. Of course it will. In fact, sometimes I'm not sure how long I can bear it myself, one ecstatic day after the next. I'm too aroused, sometimes, to sleep. Poems pour out of me like blood. I gaze into the face of a lover and I see God. They say a mortal cannot bear such glory.
Keep the thrill alive, if you can, however you can. Tell the stories to your new lovers. Write them for strangers. Read this journal, page after page scrawled during the times when I'm alone, or while my lover is lost in dreams, and let it rekindle the flames of memory.
Passions become muted over time. Stories told too often ossify into stereotypes. Fight these trends, if you're able. I can't know what you will experience, as your body ages and your mind and heart mature. Tonight, though, if only for a moment, I'd like you to feel what I feel, know what I know – the awful, holy beauty of the flesh.
And even if everything dwindles to stale shreds of recollection, do not, at least, forget the truth – that these days, and these encounters, are a rare blessing. Old people become conservative, I've heard. Perhaps there will come a time when you're tempted to repudiate me, to label me as foolish, extreme, or even wicked. Promiscuous. Perverse.
Listen to your heart, Lisabet. Remember. You know that, no matter what society says, I (we?) did the right thing at the right time. I have no regrets, and neither should you.
By the time you read this, I'll be gone. I write, like the ancients, to share the knowledge I've gleaned with my descendents – you, the many Lisabets who may read this over the years. Perhaps you'll find my scribblings quaint and fantastic, myths from a lost past. I beg of you, don't dismiss my stories as the ramblings of an overactive imagination. Believe. And remember.