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Friday, 9 December 2005
On Forming a New Religion, or Becoming a Voluptuary
Now Playing: Rachmaninov
Topic: Playing with Words
The Word of the Day for Friday December 9, 2005 at is:

voluptuary \vuh-LUHP-choo-er-ee\, noun:
A person devoted to luxury and the gratification of sensual appetites; a sensualist.

Voluptuous; luxurious.

Colette used to begin her day's writing by first picking fleas from her cat, and it's not hard to imagine how the methodical stroking and probing into fur might have focused such a voluptuary's mind.
--Diane Ackerman, "O Muse! You Do Make Things Difficult!" [1]New York Times, November 12, 1989 *

Though depicted as a decadent voluptuary, she remained celibate for more than half of her adult life.
--Michiko Kakutani, "Cleopatra Behind Her Magic Mirror," [2]New York Times, June 5, 1990 *

Voluptuary derives from Latin voluptarius, "devoted to pleasure," from voluptas, "pleasure."

This sounds really good to me. I think I'd like to sign up to be a voluptuary. I'm already close -- I devote an awful lot of time to the sensual experience of running soft wools, alpacas, silks through my fingers for hours on end. I regularly please my palate with rich creamy dark chocolate. When I could afford it, I had a massage once a week. (Now, at the time, I swore it was for health reasons -- it really did reduce the amount of pain I felt with my chronic back mess, and I really did feel healthier over all... but... it also felt really good). I love having my hair brushed, or washed even. I've been known to go to the el cheapo salon to get my hair washed ... just washed ... when the day was long and stressful.

Can we make this a religion? Then I'd have to celebrate religious holidays by eating well, and knitting or spinning or doing something else that allowed us to fill our sense of touch with wonderful things and our sense of sight with lovely colors, getting massages, to experience touch all over, listening to exquisite music...

Okay, let's see.... most organized (and even disorganized) religions have some sort of daily devotion. Would a voluptuary need to have a daily devotion for each sense? or perhaps one day each week devoted to each sense, with two days each week for all the senses? (Seems more doable somehow, for the lay folk anyway).

And then there is usually a list of things you mustn't do. I'm guessing that a Voluptuary should avoid things that cause unpleasant sensations (going outside in subzero weather barefoot, for example). I would think that causing others to experience unpleasant sensations would also be on the "avoid" list (like, say punching your kid brother). Which leads, I guess, to the question of whether Voluptuaries have morality issues?

And what if causing another to experience a bad physical sensation would cause you too experience a good one?? and are we talking only physical sensations? or do emotional ones count (in which case, slugging the kid brother would likely create the good feeling in the hitter for a while, though perhaps there would be delayed guilt). Do Voluptuaries balance these things? Do you really count the other guys sensations??

And what about those foods that cause burning sensations? I mean me, personally, I can't eat spicy stuff. Those are not good sensations in my book. But in yours, perhaps, it could be the hotter the better. Serving me your chili would be ... well, sharing something marvelous from you, and inflicting cruel and unusual punishment to me.... How does that play out?

Clearly, I'm not cut out to design religions. Or at least not to make determinations of what is or is not "sinful".

Of course, today, I'm not being a very good voluptuary.

I'm banging my head against the wall (figuratively only ... so far) on level 45 of Qwyzzle.

I'm going in reverse on my Jaywalker socks...
This morning, I discovered this:

That's as much stretch as I was going to get. No way was this sock going over that heel.

Now, before you laugh at me, I did check this earlier! I had worried a tad about the size, since I was knitting the smaller size when I probably should have been knitting the larger -- but I was (I though) using slightly larger than the original yarn.

I tested every inch or so. At the 1" ribbing it was a breeze. After the next inch, it still worked okay. But within another 1/2 inch, well... all bets were off.

I've started anew.

I will not be thwarted by another a mere sock.

* References

2. Entry and Pronunciation

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 8:59 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005 1:25 PM CST

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