This holiday season has brought up quite unexpectedly a lot of issues for me, one of them involving what sentimentality means in life and love.
As regular readers know, I have been enduring the abrupt loss of libido because of medication side-effects for treatment of Lupus. It is the first time in my adult life that my sex drive is virtually non-existent.
As a result, I have been reflecting on how integral my sex life has been in being able to express and receive love. I'm bi-sexual, and am in a long-term loving monogamous relationship with a woman. Currently, I am providing my partner with complete sexual attention, but want to cuddle afterward instead of receiving any sexual contact in return.
Surprisingly, I have been feeling really good about this arrangement, while my partner has felt some guilt. We've been trying to talk through it, since my lack of sexual interest has nothing to do with her, etc., and I really, really love being able to LOVE her to satisfaction.
Touch triggers so many memories of our lives together, a living link of connection and commitment. But, even if that were not so, we share a history that is parts sweet nostalgia and facing serious struggles – both losses and gains tallied on a ledger that has nothing to do with monetary value.
I was discussing the relative merits of our lives with my dear and very wise friend, SurvivingSurvival this week. Is sentimentality really so bad? No, he said, it's important to feel a sense of our past, and to hold it in our hands for as long as possible.
Being sentimental is not a sign of weakness, and does not have to be discarded as the flotsam and jetsam of an unproductive, unrealistic life. Rather, it can be viewed with perspective, underscoring all that we have done, and all that we have yet to do.
Like everyone on the planet of a certain age, I have loved my family, friends, partners. Every contact has left behind a memory, some through the senses, but others via a letter, or a greeting card to celebrate some distant milestone. These are personal treasures, and I choose to protect these vestiges of my life of love. They are as precious to me as the magical mist that swirls through our collective consciousness.
— The Curator