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Letters To DOMAI


To Gaze and Explore
By Matthew Dyne

To gaze upon and explore a woman’s body, without inhibition, engenders a complex set of emotions. Are some of these emotions sexual? Of course, but what that means is not well understood. Even experts say that what drives us, even just to look, is a mix of nurture and nature, of pleasure and the drive to propagate our genes, of lust, love, and the reading of subliminal messages that signal compatibility, security, status, and more.

And of beauty, a word oft mentioned here? Yes, Definitely, Yes, Yes, Yes! But describing beauty, especially of a woman, is also not a simple matter and is, perhaps, best left to poets. Yet, I will take a risk and say one or two thing about beauty, and that is that beauty dwells in the heart, a metaphor for feelings, and when beauty comes from the caressing of a woman with one’s eyes, and when those lingering looks mix with emotions of lust, love, and longing, our heartfelt desires become possessive.

Possessive? Yes, for in the animal kingdom, in which we humans reside, males compete and females choose, and if we men compete well, be it by being bad boys or being kind, we get to have and to hold, exclusively, at least for a time, the object of our desires. For better or worse, such is the nature of man, and even the viewing of a woman who turns our heads and enflames our souls is not something we wish to share.

It’s funny how memories of a woman can burn and linger like scars upon our consciousness. It was three decades ago, but I see her now as she was then, standing before me. She would be in her fifties now. I wonder what she would think if she knew I still remember her. I wonder what she would say if she knew I can see her now as I saw her then. But she will not know. I never asked her name. I did not speak with her. I only looked and remembered.

It was not long after the turbulent sixties, the Vietnam War had ended, and among the young, thoughts turned toward the use of alternative sources of energy, like wind power, new methods of construction, like geodesic domes, and further liberation for women—forget about no bras, imagine no shirts.

I worked at a small college in rural New England. Among other duties I taught fluid dynamics in a simplified course describing wind and water power. One hot summer afternoon a friend of mine and I attended a lecture given by another teacher. It was in a large room with large windows, one of which overlooked a construction site not more than twenty feet, about six meters, from the building in which we sat.

Outside was a crew of students working in the sunshine. They were all men but for one, a woman wearing jeans and work boots and naked from the waist up.

I was transfixed as I watched her lifting stones from the ground and placing them on scaffold boards above her head. Her arms rose, and her breasts thrust outward as she strained with each load. Her efforts brought her youthful musculature into high relief, and her finely sculpted scapulae [shoulder blades] were as sensual as any breasts.

I couldn’t take my eyes from her—I didn’t want to miss even a single one of her movements—but in my peripheral vision it seemed that others in the audience didn’t even notice the beauty before them. It was hard to believe, but they seemed focused on the speaker as he droned on about a subject of which I have no recollection. Are they being politically correct, pretending not to notice? I wondered. It seemed inconceivable that I was the only one staring at this God given treasure, a Goddess in her own right.

To have her to myself made me happy, but then I noticed my friend, another man, and he was staring at this young woman too, and though neither of us acknowledged what we were seeing, I had pangs of jealousy. As I mentioned, such is the nature of man.

The young woman continued to work, and I dwelled on her wide hips, her flat abdomen that showed above her low slung jeans, her slim waist, the taught flesh of her breasts, her pretty face, and her ponytail that swished from side to side as she worked.

What was she thinking? I wondered. Did she have any idea how her sexuality and beauty affected me? Did she want to affect me that way? Was she making a political statement? Or was she acting naturally, letting her beauty shine and the chips fall where they may? How aware was she and how much did she care that the sight of her would touch men and many women so deeply?

I know none of that, but of one thing I am sure. She believed that a woman should not have to cover up to shield herself from rudeness, and she was courageous enough, at least that day, to live by her beliefs.

No, I didn’t speak with her, for that would have made me rude. I just took in her beauty, quietly and politely, and let her be. I honor her with my memories, and I will for as long as I can appreciate the beauty and strength of women. And that, if the words of my father be true, will be for as long as I live.


mattpro2 at yahoo dot com

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