Tell me about a time you were seduced….Seduction & The Road to Creativity

A personal story by one of the Wild Ones, Shanta Lee

“Tell me about a time you were seduced?”  My friend asked during one of our many ongoing conversations.

e8fed80983d3750f4e669e2d26c6a4b6It was one of my friends across the ocean, this time in Pakistan, asking me many questions about life and culture here in America.  As we traded stories about our different realities, somehow we landed on this topic of seduction.    I had a hard time answering this particular question because of the way I once would’ve answered as an adolescent hungry to launch into adulthood versus my understanding of things after some life experience.  You see, this question carried me to the first time I set the goal of wanting to become a seductress beyond any of the tales that were spun about Cleopatra.   But as I matured,  the concept of seduction became more about creativity more than anything else.

Let me explain.  I was a overly sheltered child and as I grew into teenage-hood,  I became more curious about the world inhabited by the adults.  In between my studies, I found ways to  kidnap my mother’s historic romance novels.  I used my weekend nights to dive into the pages of these various stories of desire and faux-romance as told by these various romance authors.  Somehow, I thought these authors (along with any other bits of information I could pilfer from various sources) were spinning incantations for how I could step into the role as a seductress.  Upon hearing the footsteps of my father or mother just outside of my bedroom door, I would throw these various romance novels under my bed thinking that they would remain as my undiscovered treasure.

I squirreled away my fascination with these stories and others that nourished my budding thoughts that I wanted to become one who seduced the world.  But in my 15-year-old mind, this was tied largely to using intelligence, sexuality and physical attributes.  All of the things that I did not yet grasp nor understand as a young adult.  My stockpiled information of half-cooked theory was soon married to my non-existent experience of my chosen vocation (as a seductress) in life.  This later became great material for many strolls down memory lane which included many stops at what once was naivete avenue.

As I gained some life experience, the art of seducing and being seduced became tied to my drive to create and was more about invitation than anything else.  How could I invite individuals into my world or transport them through my dance performance, my words or photography?  What were the things that woo’d me in such a way that I temporarily forgot myself?   When my friend asked this question during our conversation,  I thought about my 15-year-old self and then about all of the things in the world that seduced me:

The images in various documentaries  I watched as a child of distant places;
The stories shared by Margaret Mead from her work as a cultural anthropologist;
A melody or piece of music that brings me further into a present moment;
The unanswered questions that I had about the way various things worked;
The way the sky looks on top of a hill when it appears as if diamonds have been tossed upward.

Seduction became less about the famous Cleopatra story that involved her unrolling out of a carpet to get a man’s attention.  While there was a string of creativity within that story, I further evolved my thinking by looking at seduction beyond the realm of physical but as a vehicle for transporting the spirit.  In other words, when we allow ourselves to create and when we witness the things that have been birthed through the creative process, we are seduced and simultaneously invited to journey away from the mundane.

I am still working to achieve my goal of seducing the world and perhaps transporting individuals through ability to create.  However, I think it has expanded beyond anything that could’ve been contained within my 15-year-old consciousness!

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