Artist Date: a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. (From Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way)
I recently saw Patricia Benoit’s feature film debut, Stones in the Sun.
It’s a moving film.
I was humored to the point of sincere laughter. I was saddened to the point of uncontrollable tears. And I was inspired in my writing and in my ideas about intimacy.
You can read my full recap of the film on Muse & Words; but in summary, it’s about the ways in which political unrest can affect us in the most intimate ways.
Inspiration for my writing
On my subway ride, following the film, I quickly sketched out a timeline of events for a story I’m working on. It’s a story of a Ghanaian woman who has emigrated to the U.S. and her U.S. born daughter. Though the focus is on the relationship between mother and daughter, I realize I need to create the bigger picture — the intangible forces (political or otherwise) which have dictated parts of the relationship. This idea was first sparked by some of the comments made by Nana-Ekua Brew Hammond at NBWC but Stones in the Sun helped pushed that idea forward and helped create some mental images of my story.
Inspiration for intimacy
I used to think my leanings toward the asexual end of the sexual desire spectrum were temporary. I thought that eventually I would get to the point where I was more like the other women I know who have strong physical attractions to men and actively pursue and enjoy sex. It’s not that I hate sex but I value other types of physical intimacy more. In fact there are people I’ve slept with that I absolutely could not be physically intimate with (my body would react negatively to their touch). I thought this was something else that I needed to work on – another level of vulnerability in relationships but now I realize I’m sensitive to touch and in the same way I can’t let just anyone in emotionally, I also cannot do so physically.
In part, I owe this self-awareness to moving images like Patricia Benoit’s film. In Stones in the Sun, I saw a wife bathing her husband. In Donoma, a sister washing her brother’s hair. In the teaser trailer for Middle of Nowhere, a husband embracing his wife and in another scene, the wife dancing with a romantic interest. All of those scenes move me in a way I can’t adequately define. Though “desire” comes close.