New for me, but not really. And really (really!) old in general.
The other night Todd & I were watching the movie Outsourced [v.funny, thanks for the rec, Netflix!] and there was a scene where the rom-com leads are in a sticky situation that they, of course, make the most of. A copy of the Kama Sutra is involved. And a reference to an “impossible” position: Monkey Pulling Turnip. Of course they don’t show it, but it becomes a joke later on in the film and, being the folks we are, Todd & I were curious if that was a real position or not.
So I went and grabbed my copies of the Kama Sutra. Yes, copies. Only one of which is illustrated. Considering that the male and female animal archetypes do not include monkey of any sort, we figured it being a real position was slim. As neither monkey nor turnip showed up in either index, we’re going with the made for the movie idea.
Are you aware that there is more to the Kama Sutra than a bunch of sex positions? Yes, there is a lot to be said on the subject of sex, but there’s also information on relationships and lifestyle and educational pursuits that go beyond some of the more prurient details.
One section, in particular, I find tremendously interesting: Part 1, Chapter 3, The Acquisition of Knowledge. In this section are lists upon lists of various disciplines and sciences that were common courses of study. One of these lists is the 64 Arts. A list of various skills and talents that girls should be proficient in, ranging from the mundane (cooking) to the less common (garland making) to the rather specialized (stockbreeding?).
I thought it’d make a neat project to try for a working knowledge if not practical application in each area (who says courtesans are the only ones who should be so well-rounded!). That was several years ago, when I first found the list, and the idea just got put on a to-do list of it’s own and left to, uh, mature a bit.
Lately I’ve had to urge to get back to blogging basics but doing a life-blog seemed a bit redundant as the comic tends to fill that need. With the movie reminding me of the books reminding me of the lists–it was sort of a ‘duh’ moment, you know?
Have you ever thought of buying a car only to have the model you’re thinking of show up absolutely everywhere? Or learn about something and have it pop up suddenly in the darnedest places? Or make a comment about wanting to get a particular item “someday” to a friend only to have a totally different friend that wasn’t a part of the original conversation offer it to you 2 days later? (This totally happened over the holidays and now we have a chest freezer in our laundry room.)
This is how I see these topics developing. I’m going to go down the list, just as it is (because I like following lists and I see no reason to reinvent that particular wheel) and see what the Universe drops in my lap. I have a feeling that all sorts of interesting applications of each art will become apparent and I’ll be seeking them out, watching for them and sharing them as they do. Some arts may be fairly simple to tackle in a week whereas others may need more time.
And if something interesting happens in the comments? That’s even better.