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Stella Fosse

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Pan Means Pan – Falling In Love with the Universe

I read a biography of a movie star from the 1940s, written by her daughter, who said her mother fell in love, not only with men and women, but also with trees, kittens, boulders and stars. This actress was in love with life, and more than that, in love with all existence.

I have also read several recent articles that celebrate pansexuality, defining it as being open to loving men and women and trans people and non-binary people. Being open to loving all humans is a start, but if that is the full range of these modern pansexuals, their vision is far too narrow. What about loving the flowers outside your door and the butterflies that visit them? And for us as women past midlife, what about loving your own gorgeous self, and every wrinkle on your face? What about the sexiness of breathing in and breathing out? What about the sexiness of telling our stories?

The experience of being fully alive right now is sexy. Paying attention is sexy. Looking at the moon is sexy. Real power – the power to do good in the world – is sexy. That means voting is sexy. Swimming and feeling the water push against our skin is sexy. Getting a foot massage is sexy. Being sexy is not about how we look, and it is certainly not about anyone else’s opinion of how we look. Sexiness is much bigger than any box one person can try to fit around another. It is not even limited to what we do. Sexiness is about our passionate connection with all that is, including ourselves.

In this time when our children are grown, and when we have outgrown our conventional ambitions, we gain even more power to pursue our passions. We can and should explore sexuality in the conventional sense, with ourselves and with others, in all the ways that respect others and please ourselves. But we can also think bigger – think pan – and take risks that our passions inspire. That could mean learning new dances, traveling to new places, making new friends, finding new ways to be of service to others, and creating in ways we never before took the time to create. We can observe the world out our windows in all its intensity, from meteor showers to hummingbirds. We can be fully in our bodies, minds, and  spirits, in this moment. Not one of us knows how much time is allotted to us, and getting past our denial about mortality makes us sexier, not less so. We can suspend time by being fully pansexual – by being true to our nature and loving what is. When a woman feels sexy in this moment, her own capacity for kindness and warmth becomes real in the world.

Because pansexuality means more than loving people across a range of genders. It means more, even, than loving people. It means loving it all.
Pan means pan.

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