fear no art

Your First Crush Is Power.

My childhood diary has resurfaced from age 12.

At home for the holidays, mother mentions this casually, pointing me down the basement stairs to the top drawer of my old cherry wood desk where the white teddy-bear-clad book lays in wait. What monsters or genies will I find inside?

Holding it in my hands again is like playing Freaky Friday with myself from that age, a total out-of-and-into body experience. I’m back lolling on my twin bed, chewing on the cap of a ballpoint pen, pouring over the pages.

I can feel the scratchy cotton bedspread under my slim hips as I cross my legs in the air, staring from time to time out of the window at the trees, or counting the flowers in diamond patterns in the wallpaper, before writing my crush’s name over and over again on the lined pages.

At one point, I write about how dumb it is that I’m writing about boys, and how I think about many other things, like wanting to learn how to use a gun, and I specify handguns, rifles, and semi-automatics.

“When I am 21, I am going to get a registered handgun and keep it in my purse.

Also, I want to take self-defense classes… I’m sure that even with a gun and self-defense classes, it would be impossible in some instances to defend myself, but I want to be prepared.

Also, I worry about nuclear war… Also, my parents.” (They were in a failing reconciliation at that time before divorcing.)

I conclude by stating that it’s actually more fun to think about boys than all of that.

As an adult, I’ve studied quite a bit about the psychology of the pubescent girl. Clearly I knew that I was prey, and it was important to prepare myself. I learned this from fairy tales and simple observation.

I also wanted so badly to be taken seriously. I contrast my dumb preoccupation with boys with the smart interest in guns and concern over nuclear war. I wanted to be tough. My hero was Annie Oakley.

So now it’s time to write a letter to my inner 12-year-old, and let her know that I’ve since learned that her budding sensuality is powerful, much more powerful than guns or nuclear war. So. much. more.

It’s nothing less than the force of life, of Mother Nature herself. It’s creativity in one of its many forms. It’s Kundalini rising. And someday, someday she’ll own it, and then she’ll change the world.

And she’ll learn much more effective ways of protecting herself too, using that very creative power.

So in the meantime, Ms. 12-year-old-thing, write that boy’s name as many times as you please, and know that it’s genius, really, because what that name means is I choose this feeling.

It means, I’m honoring this bubbling, growing feeling in me, by writing this boy’s name in my diary. I’m creating a sacred space for this feeling.

I’m so thankful that my wise 12- year-old self knew it wasn’t truly about the boy. It was a spell I was casting on myself. It was, ultimately, a lifeline in a challenging passage.

It’s marvelous to think how the world could change if our girls and their first-crush feelings were really celebrated as wise…  all that sensual power honored from the start. That tender vulnerability seen as an asset. A girl’s longing recognized as the original creative fuel.

I can start with myself, with this old diary, with my own 12-year-old and her desire to be legitimate. She was legit. She is.

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KateTemple-WestKate Temple-West is a writer and community visionary who teaches how to access inner magic.  Her play, She Beat the Underworld Drum, about a young dancer in the Beat era of Greenwich Village, playing the role of the Goddess Inanna and finding her way to the Underworld through the NYC subway system, is looking for a home. You could contact her via her website.

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