Erotic Cicadas: Growing Wyrd
"When you stay in an alien place for a while, a kind of osmosis begins to happen. Slowly the alien world around begins to grow inside you. You don’t particularly have words, but you sense that, of its own accord, the environment is becoming apparent to you. It sensitizes you to its own specific organs of perception, different form the ones you had before, and what had seemed impenetrable now seems to meet you. You have to wait for the unfamiliar place to grow towards you. And when it does you can hear hitherto unrecognized frequencies.” Robert Bosnak
To be alien is to be experienced as “other” and to belong to others. What is alien is strange, unknown, even weird. “Weird” has a dialectically ancestral connection to the word “wyrd.” (Anglo-Saxon origin). Wyrd being a personification of fate. For the ancient Greeks, they were the Moirai. Three goddesses weaving evey soul into the fabric of life through the golden thread of one’s destiny.
Destiny might present as something firm and fixed, a predetermined trajectory of one’s life. And yet, destiny implies, at it’s root, through the process of making something firm, a corporealized enwebbment. When lifted from linear time, destiny speaks to the grand mystery of being alive. We are continually feeling ourselves woven into the fabric of life, while also being unravelled by that very fabric. Life isn’t happening to us, it’s happening with us and within us.
For me, it’s a really erotic experience to be with an other(s), and I’ve come to find that my own erotic nature encourages intimacy with worlds unknown to me and that I am unknown to. The experience of being alien is reciprocal, and honestly, in my experience, I’m more alien to a place than a place is alien to me. When I come into relationship with new terrain, there is already a preexisting ecology. Albeit, one that is certainly not fixed, but nonetheless is articulating nuanced, dynamic, and embedded relationships.
To be alien is to belong to another. When I experience myself as alien, and a place as alien, I’m experiencing the absence of belonging. In that absence resides the possibility of belonging coaxed into being through a courtship with the people of all species that constitute place. A romancing that bends my curiosity toward questions of permission, and invokes the patience needed for such a granting.
We begin to taste each other and smell each other, licking at flavors and inhaling scents. Caressing the visual field with specially equipped eyes, and listening for undetectable notes of music that waft through the air like a melodic perfume. It’s a gradual process of intimately offering up secret ways of being, loving, and dreaming. Vulnerabilities are mutually exchanged, and from that exchange grows a trust. Creaturely shapes and forms are not met with reduction, and a dance of proximity and distance en-courage a different kind of con-forming.
I begin to form-with place and peoples, and new possibilities of life sprout and spring.
Much like cicadas clambering from ensoiled root-ways following the pull to make love, I can feel the longing within my own body that breaks open the former shape that once encased me. Exoskeletons catch the incoming light that greets fresh eyes and soft skin, and offers back opaque knowings that haunt my embodied imagination. Ghostly shapes that remind me of the vast stretch of mystery that dwells between the meeting and love making of Others.
Photo by my beloved Matt Huntze