Recently, in response to my comment on her blog, Glamourpuss called me a sensualist. That got me thinking, wondering if she were right, and it didn’t take much thought to decide that indeed she was. I have always enjoyed the experience of my senses. I never feel more alive than when
my mind is fully submerged in the waves of sensation that is day-to-day life.
I love to eat good food and taste new and exciting combinations of recipes. I love to touch and to be touched: I welcome hugs and fleeting social touches. When I go shopping, I touch everything with even the slightest texture, and if I enter Yankee Candle Company, or the deordorant aisle, I must sniff every item within reach. In art, my eyes linger on bright colors and engaging patterns and compositions, such as Henri Rousseau’s “Tiger in a Storm”.
Growing up in the arid mountians of the West, I would sometimes greet the rare summer rains with my face raised to the clouds. The gentle caress of cool water as it falls on my skin and drips off my hair….The smell-taste of ozone so faintly lingering in the back of my mouth….The scent of parched earth opening up to receive the gift of life…
My most cherished memory is of the day at the beach when I was about 10 years old, when I swam out beyond the breaking waves, and let the rolling waters lift me up and down, up and down, up and down….The dichotomy of the cool pacific waters under my back and the hot Californian sun on my face and arms and thighs…the taste of the water on my lips, and the scent of the salt and kelp in the breeze…
When I indulge in my senses, a feeling of contentment begins to swell within. The more deeply I let my mind drift upon the currents of reality, the more my inner essence quiets. The cares, the worries, the obsessions, the thoughts and wonderings, all drift away into a inner shadow.
Can it be any wonder, then, why I view Existence itself as my spiritual comfort? What I perceive through my senses is my reality, and it is that reality that gives me peace and joy. All that is external to that reality (i.e. “God” and “Heaven” and “Salvation”) is a disruption of that peace, a red herring that diverts and dilutes my focus, like a dam that blocks the river from returning to its source in the sea.