I was scribbling a poem about love (and how it disappoints if intimacy isn’t in its proper place) and the sentence that tripped me is, “She teases me with virtue and pleases me with purity.” How much of a burden do I feel now knowing that I shared such a cheesy line with my readers?
Cheesy, first because I’m writing love poems and it’s not even February.
Cheesy… mainly because I used the word “virtue.”
Virtue? Who uses that word? It sounds like a religious buzz word, some kind of gunk in your teeth or at best, an accusation. (Virtue? Why, I never!)
I can’t think of a more sexless word than virtue and I was immediately frustrated to see it pop up in a love poem. I thought, “Am I trapped in a medieval poetry contest… and losing?”
Much to my chagrin, it turns out that the word virtue isn’t nearly as obscure as I originally thought. I sat with it for a while and decided that if I said it over and over again, it would start to fill in its own blanks about its value.
I wrote “Virtue is…” on a piece of paper and waited for the words to flow. As the thoughts came, I discovered something revealing about myself, my understanding of a feminine god and my spirituality. As I wrote, I recalled the only place in the Bible where I remember the word “virtue” and it was in relations to Proverbs 31, which is grossly overused by Christians as the description of the perfect woman.
Turns out, I can do one better than the writer of the 31st chapter of Proverbs. Go figure. (What did Solomon know about virtuous women? Let a lesbian take a stab at this topic…)
Virtue is exploring sexuality with a rose in one hand and your integrity in the other.
Virtue is working hard when no one is watching and hardly watching when nothing is working.
Virtue is running out of ink and deciding to dance.
Virtue is knowing when to read between the lines and when to blur them.
Virtue is a willingness to be wrong but compassionate when you’re so very right.
Virtue is having a clue and a cause and the means to not only take a stand but take a knee.
Virtue is not a word fit for a poem, but a trait fit for a queen…
Ahh, to my beloved Queen, the goddess, the one from whom all blessings flow. This creature here, down below, is deepening her connection to the beautiful world she has been given but learning boundaries that one could never have attained were it not through loss and pain. And so I bow to your wisdom and say, “You tease me with virtue and you please me with purity.”
Whoa, all that said and suddenly the writer of Proverbs 31 sounds like he is rattling off a task list while my words come out rushing out from the soul of a love-sick feminist hippie.
Yes! Taking a little red pen to the Bible is much more enjoyable than I ever thought possible.
But here’s the thing that is tripping me up and I’ll share briefly then leave you to ponder it. If this is virtue, in all its esoteric glory, what say ye on the matter of purity?
And pray tell, what does love got to do with it anyway?
Well, I’ll leave you Tina Turner fans on that happy note and close by giving a shout out to a peculiarly sexually progressive yet purity-driven lil’ group called Les Be Pure (www.lesbepure.com) Their work on the Facebook site www.facebook.com/GayChristians is interesting and promotes healthy sexual purity and while I’m not 100% sure what that means as defined by the Church, I’m diggin’ their approach. This isn’t an official endorsement of their theology because I’m way too liberal for that but it is a place to go if you’re looking for some purity in your life and you think you can’t access it because Christianity has the market cornered on it. (Which we all know it doesn’t…)
Namaste and Happy Pride!