Saturday, December 27, 2014

Erica Jong, the Stealing of Smoked Meats and the Stuff of Memory

Francesca Woodman- Self-deceit
Oh man, I am in dire need of practicing some goddamn gratitude (maybe minus the goddamn part...) There must be something around here to be happy about, yes?  Let's have a look and see what we can dredge up.

1.  My story What Men Raised on Porn Need to Know About Actually Pleasing a Woman  was named one of the 10 Weirdest, Most Fascinating Sex Stories of 2014 by Alternet. I'm hoping mine was more in the "fascinating" category than "weirdest," but as Cathya pointed out, I do plenty of weird, too. To wit: coming up next, an article on the Orgasmic Meditation conference where I let a complete stranger touch my secret garden. Yes, I did.

2.This terrifically fun fact: Instead of Santa, little kids in Iceland believe in "The Yuletide Lads, thirteen mischievous gremlins who traipse across the country each December perpetuating holiday shenanigans," according to Jerry Mahoney in Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad  My favorite of these is Bjúgnakrækir, the Sausage Thief, who "hides in the rafters of your house to steal smoked meats."
Oh, Bjúgnakrækir! Not again!
 3.  This happened:

I first read Erica Jong back in Ann Arbor, Michigan, circa late 80s, on the Band-Aid-colored front porch of what my old housemate/live-in booty call referred to as our "fuck house." Reading her again makes me realize what a huge influence she's had on me re: trying to be a fearless and open explorer of matters of the heart and body, valuing the deep sexiness of books and an intelligent mind, experiencing the vastness of feminine energy/desire not for what it should be but what it is, and the idea of living with a fierce passion and an open heart.

I'm going through a big ol' stack of her books from the library, including:

Fear of Fifty
Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex
Sappho's Leap (eh, on this one.)
Any Woman's Blues: A Novel of Obsession

Have a look if you'd like. All these years later, I'm still finding her to be so fresh and alive and sexy and willing to peek into dark corners. Viva Erica Jong!

4. And finally, this idea that I found, in all places, Marilyn vos Savant's "Ask Marilyn" column in friggin' Parade magazine:

"Memories are chemical, meaning that they have substance, however slight."

Marilyn explains that you can't hypnotize a bad memory away--Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style--because you'd only be blocking off the access routes to it. If you tried, you'd still feel bad, but wouldn't be able to recall why. The physical matter of the memory would still be there fucking your ass up. I know! A memory as an actual, tangible thing. Mind-blowing!


So yeah, life is huge and fascinating and full of wonder. I'm gonna try to keep that in mind.



Anonymous said...

You're in my head again, Jill. I am just now - NOW! Today! - reading Fear of Flying. Merry friggin' Christmas to ME! I had to take a break between Henry and June and A Literate Passion because, Jesus, the texture and drama of Nin/Miller destroyed me for a few days. I forgot where I was, which I loved, but I became nearly unbearable to everyone around me.

in bed with married women said...

ah laci, this is why i love the internet sometimes. someone out there sharing my exact shade of brain chemicals right now! i'm putting your books on my list. also, i read fear of flying years ago but remember her later stuff being better. full of life force and such. xo

Virginia G said...

Very much looking forward to the piece on OM. That particular subject has fascinated me for a while.

And many sorrys on not having much to be grateful for. I feel that.

I haven't read Erica Jong. Which is weird, because I should.

Still reading "Sex at Dawn." It sucks. Hard. Like, really sucks. I spent a good 30 minutes this morning writing about how much it sucks. And this, coming from somebody who is very much in support of their ideas. Sigh.

in bed with married women said...

Virginia, what what? what are you hating? can't wait to hear all.

Virginia G said...

my reasons for not liking it, thus far (I'm about halfway through) are:
1. the authors consistently criticize other scholar's logical fallacies, and then employ EXACTLY the same logical fallacies to support their own arguments.
2. the authors strike down evidence, theories and conclusions of other scholars, but provides no basis or evidence in support of their criticisms.
3. the authors pose a number of important questions in the book, and don't answer them, or even begin to address them in the text.
4. the writing is terrible, and dull as shit.

I'm also not entirely sure WHY the authors wrote the book. Who is their audience? Mass culture? Other evolutionary psychologists? Anthropologists? Biologists? Academia at large? What did they hope to accomplish? Questioning long-held scientific biases? Being salacious? Making money? Increasing their visibility in the marketplace?

Anyway, those are the boring reasons why I don't like this book. I hope the next half gets better.

Virginia G said...

"but provide..." not "provides"

Dayum, it's been a long day.

in bed with married women said...

here you go virginia g. some of it got lost in translation but over it covers it.