Physis. Or qi. Or kundalini. Or eros. Or even latima (that’s what they call it in East Africa fyi. Lush isn’t it?). The energetic force that is awakened in anything that grows. The bulb that pushes its shoots magnificently through the earth to bloom. You remember when you were a kid fizzing with excitement and vitality because you felt completely loved and safe? It was because your very life force was growing.
I’ve often talked about viewing my younger self through the prism of my older self, my relationship with my parents let’s say, through to my own womanhood. Sometimes, it’s like a guitar band, more ruminative than of old, balanced out by something a little more imaginative. Could be self-flagellation or intriguing ambivalence. Sounds that shimmy in my head or maybe yours. “Thoughts,” said Sarah Lidell, “are the least silent things I know. They jostle and nudge and vie for position, single spies, battalions. Exploding bladderwrack, long linked lines of genetic information multi-tracked as a cream slice.”
The unexpectedly poignant remembrances of a first fruitful life always parlay into the second act (I’m in my 30’s now). Think of them as playing lasciviously on well-rubbed textures – lust, the thrill of the chase, deeper impressions, more candid, more vulnerable. In essence, spring will not be denied in our lives: the daffodils have opened and the cherries have magnanimously carpeted streets and gardens with their delicate petals. The beauty of this annual rebirth cannot fail to reawaken our initial (and might I say essential) yearnings to literal and non-literal sunshine and warmth.
I’m really thinking of the wondering gaze of Levin in Anna Karenina when he catches a blade of grass actually growing, gently tilting a decaying leaf to one side. This powerful motif circles me back to a chat with the man who inspired this blog post, who got me thinking about some first epic feelings and yearnings. It’s about how to make and remember those twinkles in our minds eye, those triumphs of imagination, the sheer cerebral acrobatics of it all. It’s how we keep sparkling. And I’m tingly just writing it.