© Chris Courtney Photography
Joy comes in the morning, and this morning was hard won and an eternity coming – but she wouldn’t change any of it because without all of it, every single drop of it, she never would have found this. This feeling. This dawning. This revelation that changed her and the moment she was living in.
She looked across the wide vista of her life and saw them all, every fire, every rabbit hole, every grain of sand in her far-reaching deserts of despair, and every ice crystal on the Himalayan peaks of all her euphoric realisations.
They were all there, too, dotted along the map before her, some had faded, some glowed brighter in hind sight, all were lovers whose impact forged her nature – the way atoms form the nature of elements – like an alchemy of experience and excretion that gave birth to something more - something unnameable.
She was rising – always rising. Like a storm gathering on a distant horizon that had finally come to its fullest form and was about to release torrents and wash everything clean. Destruction merely releasing the energy necessary to create new forms, new being, progress, creation.
She considered Time, and its unfolding. It was not linear in her consideration. One moment did not follow the next in the contemplation of her life. She was spanning all of her Time and pulling disparate and seemingly incongruous images and moments together that made up this reckoning.
She had been afraid of losing for so long, she lost sight of the fact that she merely had to choose to see each ending as another possibility rather than a serious blow.
Her life was richer for each experience. Her heart was fuller from staying open and not giving in to bitterness.
She finally had an understanding of faith because believing in the reasoning of it all gave her hope. Contemplating the randomness and senselessness of it all gave her nothing. She had always wanted to have faith in the world and in humanity as whole, but she hadn’t had any faith in herself - until now.
The thwarted potential she saw in the people around her was also thwarted in her. If the life she had lived proved anything, it was that she could endure. She didn’t have to feel threatened. She didn’t have to defend herself against anyone. They were not the enemy. She was.
She set herself up for failure perfectly by giving more than she was willing to lose - with the expectation that if she were loved, the debt would be repaid in spades. She always convinced herself that the gamble was worth risk until the moment she lost, and then she would burn everything to the ground and revel in the beauty of the ashes. She prided herself on tempting the risk, and tore herself to shreds for not being able to settle her losses.
But of all of her lovers who left or who she pushed away, the ones who mattered always came back in one way or another. Her disappointment in their individual potentials or the shared potential of her relationships with them was based on her belief that her redemption could never be of her own making – it had to come from someone or something exterior.
She believed that in order to thrive, she needed to be blessed by others, and her relentless search for deliverance fuelled a sexual pilgrimage rather than an emotional or spiritual one. The more grace she brought to depravity, the more pleasure she derived and the more miraculous the encounter.
She thought of the pleasures she gave that could never be returned, the gratification she offered not to be reciprocated physically, but to be held as ransom in her mind against the value of her being. She held her ability to gratify as sacred, the way nuns hold their chastity as a virtue – when neither is either saintly or sinful. They are merely constructs we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better or worse.
She thought of the boy at the New Year’s Eve party who had mounted her for pleasure but couldn’t cum until she reached out and put her hand on his heart. The look in his eyes was more than a release of ejaculate. It was an acknowledgement of his need for human contact in a cavern of degradation. She consecrated his deficiency, exalting their coarse communion with a gentle kindness. Why was it possible to do that with a complete stranger in the midst of orgiastic perversion but it was impossible for her to find it in any kind of normalcy?
She could accept the world’s disapproval and being called a whore by those who would never suffer profound loneliness that often masquerades itself as lust. She believed love has the power to redeem even the most deplorable actions and even the most deplorable people – and she craved love’s redemption – and today she woke up with the revelation that it was time for her to find it.