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Wherein I Discuss Jealousy

And how it's my secret ingredient for passion

“Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,' Holly advised him.

'That was Doc's mistake. He was always lugging home wild things… But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky.

That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky."

"She's drunk," Joe Bell informed me.

"Moderately," Holly confessed.

I’m jealous.

I am?

I am!

And I know. Believe me, I know just how contradictory to my job it seems. But let me explain: contrary to popular belief, I don’t think jealousy is a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes my job all the more fun.

When I look up the definition of jealousy, the words envy, desire, and resentment pop up as synonyms. From this I can deduce that jealousy is a feeling that has its roots in passion. We feel jealous of that coworker who got the promotion, of our friends who made plans to hang out while we were out of town, of a sibling for the attention they get, of our lovers, of that man who keeps chatting up our date at coat check.

Now, working in my field, to be jealous may seem like trouble. If a lover of mine becomes too jealous, or if I succumb to jealousy, it could lead to a breach of that beautiful in-between world client and companion reside in.

And yet it is precisely jealousy that has sparked some of the most passionate moments of expression. Arms intertwined, hair tangled, Sappho 31.

I find that jealousy to me is evidence of my attraction and my own humanness. So what do I do? I grip my lover that much harder when I have them in front of me, all to myself. I revel in the joy of the temporary. That feeling of knowing that this will end, but until it does, I let my body demonstrate just how much I’ve missed their scent, their touch.

There was a kind of Japanese block print made in the 17th-19th century called ukiyo-e. Translated, this means "the floating world". While we may take this to mean that the art is showing us something etherial and eternal, it's just the opposite. As a general overview, ukiyo-e prints were created to depict all that is beautiful and transient in this world. A reminder that things do not last and that it's okay. To accept that the beauty of a bird, seated on a branch in the winter, or a woman, looking back at you with a smile, is not everlasting, helps us appreciate things that much more.



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