A New Violin, The Black Gondola, and Sex

Dearest Bookworms,

I bought a violin the other day, a 1920s German copy of a Maggini violin. Maggini was a master luthier, born in 1680 in Brescia, Italy, who pioneered a larger-bodied violin with a more resonant, expressive sound. The violin I bought had been traded around, passed from musician to musician in exchange for other instruments. It appears to have had a lengthy history of abuse, and a proportionate history of haphazard repair.

In my own hierarchy of needs I hold a sliver of mental and physical capacity above all other priorities: the capacity to listen to music. This week I’ve been listening again to Liszt, and a song recommended to me by the author Jeff Stookey: The Black Gondola, Liszt’s memorial of Wagner —

And I’ve been thinking about sex scenes this week, as I’ve slowly been writing one. What makes a sex scene work? What makes it more than mere mechanics, what makes passion pass from writer to reader? When I was younger a mentor told me that to write a female character, I must write them as more than one person, since all women are always more than one person at a time.

The same applies to disabled characters, I think.

I feel the deepest pleasure of sex is in passing one’s body into the possession of another. I hope you will receive me; I hope you take joy in me; I hope my body gives you everything you need.

What makes a sex scene work?

For a start, I suppose, it’s hope. And then, what is done with this extravagant gift of a body.

A poem:

by Christy Brown

Sitting with you in any setting is so lovely
it is still so new to me like each new morning
watching each new wonder cross your face
and I a new arrival to joy
happily caught in that wonder.

Your every moment arrests my mind
bringing my senses instantly awake
and in your very stillneess I am aware
of things waving my life restfully
to a joyous conclusion.

With love,
AR. x