This week's Weekly Geeks was too good to pass up.
"Write a letter to a firm favourite author of yours, preferably someone alive – letting them know how much you either admire or even love their work." ~ WG
(I'm going to stray from the "alive" part because as soon as I read this WG, I knew I had to write to Anais Nin).
Dear Anais ~
You entered my life in my early college years through the film Henry and June. My roomie said there was nothing more beautiful, erotic, or empowering than this film. I nearly agree with her. Your words, your journals surpass the desire of the 1990 production.
Some might have judged your relationship with Henry and June. And I have to admit, I did feel an overwhelming sense of pity for poor Hugo. He was such a loving and dutiful husband wasn't he? Still, Henry's virile words and gruffness, his ability to incite raw animalistic want, and the way you both pushed each others limits...well, I understand the pull. Plus, June, oh June. Strong and weak, trapped by her own beauty. Of course it is easy to fall in love with both of them. Of course it is easy to allow them to be your muse and you theirs.
So your words, yes, your words. Having watched the film I immediately went out and purchased a few of your journals. The beauty!
"Often, though, the passivity of the woman's role weighs on me, suffocates me. Rather than wait for his pleasure, I would like to take it, to run wild. Is it that which pushes me into lesbianism? It terrifies me. Do women act thus? Does June go to Henry when she wants him? Does she mount him? Does she wait for him? He guides my inexperienced hands. It is like a forest fire, to be with him. New places of my body are aroused and burnt. He is incendiary. I leave him in an unquenchable fever."
Dear Anais! I don't judge. I understand how complicated life can be. I understand that you are trying to find yourself outside of Man. You are reconciling both the femininity and masculinity of your spirit. Your words were exactly what I yearned for and leaned on in my early twenties. And now in my early thirties, nearly ten yeas later, I find that they still resonate with me.
I picked up a collection of your essays that was given to me many years ago on my birthday. It had been left unread sitting on my shelf, turning yellow. I chastised myself for abandoning your words. In Favor of the Sensitive Man is a collection of your writings, through letters, articles, interviews, and lectures. The book is divided into 3 topics: Women and Men; Writing, Music, and Films; and Enchanted Places.
I've read a the first couple of essays, knowing that you wrote them over forty years ago. The one thing that struck my thoughts while reading the first essay, "Women and Eroticism" was questioning how far we really have come in comparison to your struggles. Oh Anais, you were such a strong woman, always attempting to remain authentic to your own sense of Self, your own desire to explore what matters the most to you even if it made those around you and yourself uncomfortable. I think that females still struggle with their duality. I know that we have more opportunities now than women did in your time, but does that mean the inner struggle isn't still there? We still fight against our sexuality, our desire, putting ourselves first. We still wear the many masks of Wife, Mother, Daughter, Best Friend. What I think you taught me the most with your undeniable strength and open vulnerability is that it's okay to not always know the answers. It's okay to make mistakes. We can love many and we can love both conditionally and unconditionally.
I hope that you are still treasured for the amazing woman you are years from now by future generations.