by Kiersten Hallie Krum
“The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn’t fit you make alterations.”
Stella, The Midnight Star
It’s a blessing of time’s infinite if baffling structure that every 365 days or so, we get to reset our worlds.
The year turns and with it we take the untrod canvas ahead and foist on it the dreams that could be in that as yet undecided era. To lose weight. To exercise more. To be a better person. To run a marathon. To read more books (huzzah!). To write that book. To be less angry. To travel. To love more. To experience joy.
This time I’ll do it better.
We want to do better, to be better, to have a better life than we experienced the year before.
We long to be something, someone, else.
Much like resolutions, longing is at the heart of romance and relationships whether we’re living them or writing about them.
Jane Austen made a whole career writing about people who inexplicably long for one another despite all sense and sensibility to the contrary. Pride and Prejudice is Darcy and Elizabeth longing first to endure the other and then longing for each other as much as they long to undo the actions that have left their families in pieces and them on either side of the title’s two divides. The entirety of Persuasion is Anne longing she’d made a different choice, that she’d be stronger, that she’d trusted herself over the pressures and influences of others who had their own agenda for her life. And, of course, longing for the admirable Captain Wentworth and a second chance to say yes.
Longing runs rampant through erotic fiction too. For sex, sure, as erotic romance and erotica use explicit sexual interaction to get at the true longings of the characters’ hearts. But in this is also the longing for basic connection that the many forms of sexual love can appease if only for a fleeting amount of time.
Sex physically manifests the body’s yearnings, but it is the easier means of expressing the heart’s true desires. For affection. For edification. For touch. For connection. For love.
This is why we latch onto archetypal characters presented in fiction, either on the screen or the page. These people, these characters, are the apex of our spoken, and often unspoken, longings. We long for that type of man (or woman) to fill what we feel we lack in our lives.
A longing that drives us to make resolutions.
We resolve to do better, to work harder, to achieve more, to be satisfied with less, to be worthy, to be less expectant, to reach farther, to challenge everything, or just something, in order to feed our need, to resolve our longing.
To live and be something…different. Other.
What are you longing for in 2o14?
Follow Lady Smut. We fulfill all kinds of longings.