There comes a time when, more than anything else in your entire life, you want to kiss a certain someone for the first time. And that moment scratches a line across your life path, dividing it into the time before you kissed them and the time after you kissed.
One of my favourite historical accounts of kissing comes from the 1864 book Savage Africa. The British explorer William Winwood Reade described falling in love with the beautiful daughter of an African king. After pursuing her for many months, he dared to steal a kiss. Unfortunately things didn’t go so well. The girl, having never encountered this before, screamed before running away in tears. Only later did Reade find out that this princess had interpreted his kiss as an intention to eat her.
There’s a lot riding on a kiss. When it works, it shatters the habitual, making us forget the trivial things that permeate everyday life—intoxicating elixirs that make every act that follows much more meaningful, much more intimate
Who hasn’t been stirred up by a kiss? Writing about it can be scary, in that we must be as vulnerable on the page as we are in person when revealing ourselves to someone.
“Two spirits, greeting, trying to carry it further.”
What a kiss is depends on where you are in relation to it. I think sameness is easy. It’s difference that’s the real challenge. I think we can all be brash and bold one minute, vulnerable and introspective the next. What makes us compelling? Perhaps the belief that free from the tawdry will of an individual, lips can convey real truth. There is a moment of unusual vigour and clarity before that moment of poetry, and writing, for me anyway, can get down to the embers of that emotion.
I was listening to a song today, all shivering strings and chords that crystallize the perfect moment in a relationship—the one before you learn each other’s name, the one before you’ve kissed. It’s nature’s ultimate litmus test, nudging us towards craving, desire and genetics. Kisses come in many varieties and are inherently tied to the most meaningful and significant moments of our lives by providing a means to communicate beyond what words can convey. And that’s why I love them so much. For this writer, it’s nice to completely and utterly get out the way of my head, and down into my lips.
source: Sadamasa Motonaga