Sensuousness is vital to our wholesome living. It is vital to our living in Love with the world around us. It is vital to our Spirit. It is vital to us being inspired.
Whether we are touched by an imposingly smooth and tactile sculpture . . . some visually penetrating dynamic art work . . . a perfectly sublime or unsettling piece of music. . . the wildest ever sweet unfurling beauty of nature. . . the early morning dew on our skin. . . some monumental peace-filled architecture . . . an awesome magnificent surreal landscape. . . the breath-taking canopy of a seemingly endless ‘diamond set’ midnight sky. . . or the naked sensual romance of Keats’ poetry. . . being stirred is vital to the fullness of being.
The poet, “John Milton, is said to have invented the word sensuous in order to have a synonym for sensual, minus the association with sex. He used the word in an often-quoted formulation of what poetry should be”: “simple, sensuous, and passionate”. (Family Word Finder; by editors of the Reader’s Digest Association;
Pleasantville, New York; 1975; page 706).
Regardless of these nuances, without our senses, without being stirred, we would be oblivious to God having breathed outstanding beauty upon His cosmos. A beauty that Keats knew to be Truth. We would be oblivious to God reaching out to us, in the hope that we should reach back and connect through the conduit. We would be oblivious to the bestowed inspiration that calls us, and melds us accountable for our intimate response to our souls longing.
The hungered yearning of our complete being, (body, mind, soul and spirit) when subliminally stimulated, gallops with our senses without warning, it renders us alive with a quickening. Spasms of charged electrifying waves pulsing through our bodies with their ruling rhythms, arouse us to a heightened response. Beyond the vacuum, we are left secretly flushed with a rosy warm delight. Fulfilled via the senses. Overcome with awakening. Inspired. Touched by God.
I was inspired to write this blog post by Sunday’s radio 4’s Something Understood programme, which was all about the vitalness of touch.
When my daddy was dying, I spent the last few days rubbing his body all over, whilst he sang the Levelers. Right up to the end he kept his wonderful spark of hearty humor. He was black and blue with bruising, he had bedsores and parts of his skin were broken and raw. He was a big man and every inch of him ached with throbbing. He said he felt as if his legs were getting thrombosis. In the last few days I massaged and rubbed his body to alleviate the pain, as it began to shut down. And as his body grew ever more sensitively closer to death, both his and my senses were super-naturally heightened. The rubbing to ease the throbbing slowly softened to stroking, soon to become just the gentlest faintest trace of a single finger upon the most delicately silken, beautiful milky skin, like the touch on a newborn baby. Breath was labored and then for a moment still, then faint and silent. A long pause with no breath …… then quick….. then slow…….. and then as I watched him pass over, I followed the last little trace of life through his body, leaving him by a momentary flickering mini pulse, exiting his body through the eyelid. It finally left him in the form of a glycerin like teardrop, perfectly visible (like a diamond) in the corner of his closed eye. Sensory to the end.
And beyond all life, still my heightened senses could tangibly feel his spirit, the eternalness of Love and without a doubt, God’s presence. And I have no doubt even though he had died, my father could feel it too.
I Love the naked human body. So beautiful and vulnerable. So all similar and yet different in their fragile beauty. I Love the perfect taughtness of the fleshy pale peach skin on my small naked children. I Love the perfect curve of their bottoms and the softness of their shoulders. I Love too the female neck and soft shoulder line, and the simply sublimely gentle, feminine clavicle. I think it is the most beautiful part of a woman’s body. I Love the male philtrum, and the Cupid’s bow, soft full flesh of the top lip. I long to be kissed, and know the delicate true sensuous touch that only another’s lips in Love can trace. I Love the lean gently sculptured form of the male torso, I Love the soft, seamless, faultless join of the upper leg to the groin. The simple chest and back, the touchable Adams apple, the perfect tender arc of the armpit, and the warm scent of breathing skin. I Love the pure silk of skin to skin. I Love the touching of hands and finger tips. I Love the pathway of Love which leads us beyond the skin; our senses take us way beyond those of physical touch.
Sensuousness is the fire-lighter of the soul, but only ever when the fuel is Love.
Which is why I was left feeling so incredibly sad when I recently watched the film SHAME. Seeking a sensual or sensuous state without Love and Truth as our conduit, desensitizes the soul of all beauty, dignity and Grace, leaving us with a broken lonely and disheartened spirit. A spirit which can only be healed by Love. By God.
God who is Love.