Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Awakening

More from the hidden archives of my strange scribblings. This you may find a little strange but this is the right place for that, don't you think? This is a piece I wrote for myself, not really intended for the blog.

When did it start? Who knows when it started but I know when I discovered it. I was not old, not a child either. My mind was still susceptible to all sorts of strange influences, even if I thought of myself as strong willed and independent.

The change, or discovery, took place in an odd place, indeed. It may not seem an odd place to discover something crucial about yourself but, regarding the nature of my new-found knowledge, it was a strange place.

I wasn't alone when I entered the church. I was one of twenty-five others, both girls and boys. We had travelled by bus to this ancient university town and now we were taken on a guided tour through this very old church. None of us were really very interested but we had been told to behave and most of us did.

I had always been fascinated by churches and this one was very old and very peculiar. This excited me although I did my best to hide my excitement. We were taken through the different chapels and told the old stories about the students and deans that had been buried there and the saints that had been worshipped there.

In the chapel behind the high altar hung a crucifix and before it I stood as struck by lightning. No one should think that there was any kind of religious awakening that was happening. That which made me stand, as if frozen to the spot, was something completely different.

I stared at the cross and the man nailed to it. I am not religious. Still I do not wish to degrade or insult any religious belief. I know about the symbolism of Christ and the Crucifixion. I am too ignorant to know the religious significance of it all but I know about the sacrifice and how Jesus died for our sins. I know about it but it doesn't make much sense to me.

I stood there, overcome with a tidal wave of the strangest sensations. I stared at the man on the cross. It was sculpted in wood and made with much detail. It was very delicate and skilfully done. I stared in awe and amazement at the crucified man, because it was a man I saw.

The details, the intricate woodwork, made him come to life before my very eyes and I saw in that sculpture his agony and suffering. It came alive and suddenly I almost felt the nails through his hands and the strain in his body as he hung there.

In my overwhelmed mind I knew I should think of the suffering of Christ for our sins, but what I saw was the body of a man, a man they once nailed to a cross. I was staring at his body, a body that looked so real, almost as if he was alive, and I felt his suffering.

And I felt something else too, as I let my eyes caress the suffering body of the man on the cross, something that made me ashamed of being in a church, made me think I was the worst of the worst, the one in that church that should not be there.

I saw how naked he was. I saw his naked agonised body, stretched and tormented. I stared at his loincloth threatening to fall off. My mouth was dry and my head was humming as I felt how terribly excited I was at the sight of that naked body in agony.

I marvelled at the cruelty, the immense brutality in nailing someone to a cross and at the same time I felt my heart thumping in my chest for the horrible arousal I felt as I stared at him.

In my mind the agony became beauty and the suffering became passion and the nails were burning marks that filled the man with agonising pleasure. Lost was the religious meaning and left was only the blasphemous passion the sculpture evoked.

And then I took a step further. Instead of turning back, instead of sensing how inappropriate my staring at the crucified man was I choose to go deeper into my pulsating and blinding imagination.

In a flash I swapped place with him. I was the one nailed to the cross. I was the one whose naked body was stretched out and bound to the cross. It was I who was hanging there, in the church, in front of my peers, in front of all the visitors to the church.

Perhaps the cross was on a hill in the city or on the town square and all had gathered to see me crucified. and I was hanging there naked in front of them all and they could point and stare and mock and taunt me. I was helpless and lost.

And in my feverish thoughts I found I was naked, not even wearing a delicately arranged loincloth that was waving in the wind but nothing. I was hanging there stark naked, not a single piece of clothing was I allowed. And they could all see me in my misery and agony. And they all enjoyed it, laughed and watched as I hung in pain.

And as I stared out over the crowd, I knew I was not crucified for their sins, to take on me the evils of others. No, I was me, only me, naked and miserable, crucified for breaking all the laws of all the religions in the world. I truly deserved hanging there, stripped of all honour and decency.

And as I hung there looking at the crowd, knowing that they looked at me, looked at my body, I felt a thrill, a tingling in me, a strange sensation, that started between my legs, that trickled through my whole body and grew to an all encompassing wave. I knew then that what they looked at was a girl in agony, a young body nailed to the cross for her sins, a girl deserving her punishment. And I knew that they enjoyed it, I knew I was sexy.

The spell was broken as we were ushered on, to the next tomb, to the next chapel. I was shivering. I was changed. I knew then, that I was changed. I knew I had discovered a new kind of pleasure.


Paul said...

Janice, fascinating, I've never quite seen that awakening described like that.
I believe there was a great deal of masochism present in the early churchman.
Love and warm hugs,

Manorlord said...

Nom de Dieu, sacre bleu!! Of all the strangenesses of this fascinating blog, this strikes me as the strangest. It is something I have truly never considered at all -- the furthest from my own imaginings.

Or perhaps not. There are web sites (mainly porn, but who am I to say?) devoted to images (art or photo) of crucified women. I have assumed they are for male fantasies, but who knows?

In addition to the recent film "Stigmata," which touches this theme, there was an art film made in the 70s (I think), the culmination of which was the crucifixion of a young lady -- I believe she thought it was just a movie, with special effects, then found out (too late? or not?) the truth.

As a kid, I was always eager to catch a glimpse of forbidden female flesh, and one odd place within the realm of "fine art" were the female martyrdom pictures -- St. Barbara, St. Catherine (bound naked to the wheel), one gruesome one of a well-endowed woman having her breast lopped off -- some female flagellation, too, but these were always too sketchy or gory to suit tender-hearted me. These strike me now as somewhat odd objects of devotion (at least for male worshippers). Perhaps they stimulate less-than-pure fantasies in female devotees.

St. Theresa of Avilla (I think it was she -- too lazy to look it up) described her religious raptures as part torment, part bliss.

In any event, the intention of the crucifix and related images is to help the worshipper experience most vividly the agony of Christ in this supreme (to Christians -- of which, as you know, I am one) moment. I always took an odd comfort at the notion that the sacrifice -- the pain and yes the doubt -- was real ( a point that Muslims consider blasphemous -- it was an image only that was tortured and crucified, they say). Your identification is, as always, honest, and who am I to judge it? There are many roads...

Long-windedly, Your friend,

Wystan Ephraim

Alan said...

Janice, this is an incredible strong imagination. Its fascinating
for me even beyond sublime eroticism.

Its the sexus described too in Evolas early work "ERos and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex".

I agree with Manorlord about f.e. St. Theresa of Avila who certainly shared such deep experiences.

This is a depth of imagination that I feel is new in you.

Utterly fascinating!


Janice said...

Dear Paul, it was just something I wrote, nothing much more than that, no clever thinking or anything...smiles.

Dear Wystan Ephraim, I think, that some of the origins of this story has to do with a kind of sensuality that sometimes is to be found in the image of Jesus on the cross. And some strange thoughts that this evokes.

Dear Alan, I honestly don't think this is very deep, I am a very shallow person, really.



Anonymous said...

Dear Janice:

I am the anonymous who recently comented some of your posts. As i was reading this text, i couldn't avoid mi heart of starting pumping. It was not only the excitment of the vision of a beautiful and sexy woman, standing naked, swetty, struggling nailed to a croos, what you have captured. You succeed in isolating what i think that it's the main motivation of all this: the feeling of guilty: the atracctive victim fears the punishment, the pain and the humilliation, but at the same time, feels that she deserves to be punished, and it's willing to taste and enjoy her punishment with all her senses, in front of everybody.

Warm hugs, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Janice:

I am the anonymous who recently comented some of your posts. As i was reading this text, i couldn't stop my heart from pumping. First, you captured the sensuallity contained in the vision of a beautiful and sexy woman, standing naked, swetty, struglling nailed to a cross. But the main point, it'a that you succeeded in isolating the main reason of all this: the feeling of guilty. The attractive victim fears the punishment, the pain, the torture and the humilliaton, but at the same time she feels that she deserves to be punished, and it's willing to taste and enjoy her punishment, to the limit, in front of everibody.

your truly, thankyou for sharing it