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Re: nude candlelight ceremony

Posted by reader on January 08, 2003 at 21:15:49

In Reply to: nude candlelight ceremony posted by Peter on January 08, 2003 at 00:25:25:

I can tell the impact this had on you by your attention to detail. While reading your story, I was captivated by the nonverbal aspects...the smells, the colors, the ambience, and the way this is etched in your memory. Great piece of writing - horrible bizarre experience like life in the F could be.

I never had a nude candlelight, and stories about sexual initiations like yours creeped me out even back then. As I read you, parts of what you write seem to carry a distance or dissociation necessary to the portrayal, as if you were talking about something you see happening, outside of yourself. That dissociation is what I experienced so many times and STILL experience today, as I look to many things that happened during my time in the F.

I would have felt as weird as you felt then and now recounting it years later if I had been there. I would call your expression Proustian, but you are not starting with a madeleine...a candle and burned wax carry enough sensory perceptions to build and sustain a world of memories and sensations.

I am teaching a class called Violence in the Family these days (how analogous) and the very first day all students were asked to freely associate any word that came to mind with the word violence. We had more than 80 people. In 20 minutes we had the board FULL of words of all kinds. Violence does not have to be 'violent' to be...violent. There are so many words that are related to it, like
and I am not going to fill up THIS board with the rest of them...maybe we could do an exercise of the sort on this associations...each person can contribute some words.

It just made me think how so many activities and events in the F carried such intrinsically 'violent' invasive and violating principles, even though most of us were not aware of it at the time, and could not articulate it as we can today.