I am overtly lecherous; I have a lecherous disposition that is at the forfront of my relations with other people. In the moments of artistic idealization, of course, I would argue that the entirety of humankind is wrong in this aspect and that I, as innocent as a child, am no more than allowing myself to be drawn into the great mystery of feminine beauty. I spent the morning in wonderment and thanksgiving; what a curious turn of events, that I could spend a day basking in beauty, seeking out comforts, good food, large, well-lit windows, antique shops and Confucius temples, toting a leather bag containing tattered volumes of English literature that when, settling in a comfortable nook, I would take out and sink into leisurely; and that all this is considered my present vocation. What immensely good fortune. I even said a prayer, over a steaming plate of rich oriental noodles, which was, incidentally interrupted by a pair of young girls coming to sit at the table next to mine. One was good looking, cute, with an impressive form that immediately attracted me, and a skirt that showed the creamy softness of her legs. I spent the remainder of my lunch, half reading my book, and half stealing well-attempted glimpses. Not, in fact, stealing, for it was my covert hope that she would look up at the same time and I could communicate my fascination with her. More like, peeking intentionally. Although our eyes met, at least once, that seemed the end of it. As I got up and walked past, taking full advantage of the opportunity to glimpse her round bosom, she raised one arm defensively, in some part aware of my intrusion. Society, and with it, her reaction, renders me a pervert.
I continue my day, and notice how my eyes are drawn to the breasts and bottom of every girl of some attractiveness. In my defense: women are beautiful, and it is no insult to call them so. Men often seek out beauty in a solitary walk through nature, in the pleasant surroundings, the touch and color of the bright furniture in a sushi bar, music, food, and the littlest pleasures of our physical senses. By small appreciations of this manner we are able to stir the spaciousness of our soul into a deeper connection with our own journey. It is the primary role of the artist, in fact, to capture and preserve these tiny moments, frame them and place them in the public eye precisely so that the public has easy access to beauty when they recognize the need for it. Hawthorne says of Zenobia in the Blithedale Romance, “Zenobia was truly a magnificient woman. The homely simplicity of her dress could not conceal, nor scarcely diminish, the queenliness of her presence. The image of her form and face should have been multiplied all over the earth. It was wronging the rest of mankind to retain her as the spectacle of only a few. The stage would have been her proper sphere. She should have made it a point of duty, moreover, to sit endlessly to painters and sculptors, and preferrably the latter; because the cold decorum of the marble would consist with the utmost scantiness of drapery, so that the eye might chastely be gladdened with her material perfection in its entireness.”
Why should we have to wait for an artist to first copy that perfection (without clothes, I cannot help but agree with Hawthorne in this respect) before we appreciate it? Most young women have a glimpse of Zenobia in them, and most people fail to notice any but the exceptionally beautiful. If I find in a blushed cheek or dark eyelash, a piece of that eternal magnificience of womanhood, why is it sinful for me to languish, to stare, to breath deeply of this beauty as I would of a solitary flower in a field? It is not that I need to intrude; I’m not looking for any sexual satisfaction or favor, but I feel no need to be bashful in my awareness, on the contrary, I want the girl to realize how special she is, how beautiful and holy. Pleasure of this type, pleasure in the beauty of women, is often seen as the root of evil. Satan himself, then must have created feminine beauty. And along with it, the beauty of the stars, of green forests, crystal blue ponds, and orange yellow sunsets. That bubbling of spiritual awe in the face of such beauty must be the serpent’s tongue licking our pride and basest of natures, luring us into sin. Nonsense! Without beauty and recognition of it, both beauty, and pleasure in life’s small miracles, like chocolate cake and jasmine green tea, the world would be bleak and drab, with nothing for a poet or an artist to do.