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2002-10-21 10:57 a.m.

There is one pitfall which I see people stumble with over and over, and that is the black–or–white model of promiscuous and not–promiscuous, easy and not–easy, slut and not–slut. Our understanding of the world is rooted in language, but our mental definitions of these words confine us to something which may or may not be feasible or realistic or true.

With misguided good intentions our brains use language to simplify our essence into rigid syllables and phonemes. We shackle ourselves to definitions like a mathematical variable is defined by what lies on the other side of the equal sign. The problem is that language—written, spoken, mathematical—can only describe opposites. But, that's not all there is.

The human heart and soul are not binary. We as humans are fluid like water. Our souls flow like red wine passed from the lips of one lover to another.

Why push to be an archetype? You do not need to "be" an indiscriminate sex maniac, nor a rigid prude. In fact, you can't. You can't "be" an archetype.

Both of these models—these definitions—describe what we think to be polar opposites. All definitions are asymptotes—you can approach them but you will never, ever touch them. Every person lies somewhere on an analog scale between these two poles.

It is healthiest to think of definitions like winds—they are vectors with a direction and a magnitude. They are not locations one can reach. Can you touch west? Can you "be" the east? We lean toward one or the other, but no person can embody them or be there.

Life swings like a pendulum between definitions. Some people's pendulums swing much farther than others. Even if you hit the end, your pendulum never stays there for more than a fleeting moment.

Why think about it? Why get caught up in the wrestling match in our minds?

Negotiating ourselves with language is as effective as hiring a personal assistant to schedule the clouds. It is like questioning the motives of the tides.

You can explain yourself as much as you want, but the picture will never be complete because language will always fall short. Better to just enjoy the unique, irretrievable flavor of wherever you are at that moment.