the lost man chronicles
book two: the art of love
Sex (& Love) in the City
"Every action that is conscious, and that aims at bringing about a result, arises from a motivation. My religion is very simple: my key motivation is love. My religion is kindness."
~ Samsâra, La vie, la mort, la renaissance, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
Ever since I can remember, love has been one of my greatest motivations: mama's love, the bliss of my first kiss, my first "true" love, the first time I read the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi and learned to love the world; and the first time I wrote a book about love—because I loved a girl.
Then I moved to New York City.
That was a dozen years ago and the beginning of the end of my personal innocence.
And albeit I have loved and loved and loved a lot since then, this city has certainly encouraged me to lust just as well, and as often.
More than my fair and fervent share in fact, for lust is never fair—it is extreme, it is passionate, it is all-consuming and overwhelming and exciting! And it is a feeling which invites us to be as obsequious to selfish vice as we are to the puppet strings of selfless love.
Living in the gritty metropolis motivates one to jump into a race—one with a breakneck pace; a ruthless competition where I and I and I are our greatest enemies. It is where, if you're not careful, not only are you liable to get run over, but you're apt to wear yourself down and out, as you frantically run about chasing the bewitching spirits of all that is unnecessary, all that greed and avarice and lust will have you ruthlessly vying for.
And that's all good, that is, if you live in the City.
For here, the aim is to gain, even at the expense of bending the rules. Because many of us fools have journeyed here to either escape them, break them or make them ourselves. This is the taste of the cosmopolitan, that which although we know and accept is toxic, its intoxicating and blood-thirsty allure lures us into asking the barkeep of our lurid-liquid dreams to pour us another.
Ultimately, however, the healthiest and wealthiest among us, seek a balance between these two great motivators—(of) love and lust.
And to do so, on occasion we need to shake ourselves free from the sordid grasp of the City, and return to where most of us came from. For most of us come from—love, a few have from spawned from lust, but even then, hopefully, they trust that their guardians were inclined to love them none the less, all the more.
Being that none of us are Tibetan exiles in India who have forsaken the temptations of the world, we can love AND lust. But to be happy, we must balance the two. Thus, it behooves us to persistently remind ourselves to seek this equilibrium every time we act. And therefore, for each I who vies in the name of lust against another, we must try to find a YOU to love.
"I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong,
but what one becomes as a consequence of it."
~ Oscar Wilde
the art of living the art of love