Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lost Language

From Joseph Campbell's commentary in Pantheon Books' The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales:

The "monstrous, irrational and unnatural" motifs of folk tale and myth are derived from the reservoirs of dream and vision....They are thus phrases from an image-language, expressive of metaphysical, psychological, and sociological truth. And in the primitive, oriental, archaic, and medieval societies this vocabulary was pondered and more or less understood. Only in the wake of the Enlightenment has it suddenly lost its meaning and been pronounced insane.
This was once a spanking blog. In my writing, I pondered the "monstrous, irrational and unnatural" motifs of spanking , told stories, explored my own desires and dreams, and by it, I thought I understood myself and my place in the universe. Then I deleted it all, the vocabulary of spanking having lost its meaning, the cruelty and injustice inherent in the fetish pronounced, silently and by my heart, at least in part insane.

It didn't leave my fantasies, of course. The same cruelty and injustice inherent in the fetish are inherent in me, and my orgasms have always been coupled with the victimization of flesh. It didn't leave our bedroom, where, though we play less often than we did, I still sometimes talk a dirty caning story into reality. I may now only take six strokes where I used to take three dozen, but it all comes down to the same truth: you can take the girl out of the fetish community, but you can't take the fetish out of the girl.

Going back to Cambell's statement about the motifs of myth, I think fetishes can be seen as an image-language as well. They have an innate truth, but once we start to analyze them and break them down, as we do with most everything in modernity, the language is lost. If there was one question I tried to answer in the old version of this blog, it was "Why am I like this?" I come into writing this now with the answer: "Because this is the way I am." I can't question it any longer. It's like taking "Hansel and Gretel" and trying to place it at a certain point in history. There are dark and wild things in the wood, and some of them want to eat us, but the architect of the little house that was built of bread and covered in cakes never registered those blueprints. There is truth, and there is Truth. One we can prove. The other just is.

I watched the first twelve episodes of Grimm this week on Hulu, while I've been home with the flu. You can credit it, along with a fever, for my writing now, because it reminded me of the passion I once had for folklore, for retelling the old tales, for finding the Truth and presenting it in a new way, especially if that way was one that would result in erotic titillation. The premise is that the stories collected by the Grimm Brothers were true, that the creatures, the animal-people and the wicked witches, the things that go bump in the night, were real, and the Grimm family were supernatural humans who hunted them. It's the opposite of Campbell's statement above. It's the idea that the dreams and vision are the reality; believing the stories are only stories will get you killed.

It's an interesting take and I'm enjoying the show, but it limits the scope of the folktales it sources. For one thing, all the creatures are named something Germanic, which would indicate that all monsters come from Germany, except for one type that appears to be from France. Now, if that was reality, you might be a pig creature born in Laos, but you'd still be called a Bauerschwein. That doesn't seem fair. Folktales are, by nature, nondescript. They could happen anywhere, anytime. By taking a metaphor and turning it into fact, the entire world is limited by the new language.

I don't want to limit myself any longer. I have just spent a year living within the confines of a collection of stories that is meant to be factual and infallible, but it's like living inside a Grimm collection. The problem in my heart, and why I cannot abide by a collection of stories is this: I know that not all the monsters are real. There is truth, and there is Truth. We are the Bauerschwein. We are the demons. The image-language of myth is universal, timeless. It may not be fact, but it is reality. The world is so much more than we allow it to be.

The things I like about spanking, the exposition of bare flesh, the relinquishing of the body and the will, the suffering but not the pain, the forgiveness implied by the punishment, are not facts of the fetish. Those may be completely different from what anyone out there likes about this sexual subset. They are derived from my personal experience and concept of what spanking should be. They are not necessarily what it should be for anyone else, and what you want, want you crave in your heart of hearts, your bottom of bottoms or your top of tops, may not be truth for me.

Somewhere along the way I lost my language and tried to give everything a new name, but the names were wrong and the stories weren't mine. I'm now, I hope, taking my reality back. I'm just at the edge of it, learning to speak and learning to see this image-language, culled forth from dreams.