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  • Niusha Karkehabadi

The Sound of Sensation

Sometimes I speak in circles because it is all connected.


We hear a lot of sounds. A sound is a vibration from the past or within. Technology mimics natural sounds just like pain killers mimic herbs. Sounds happen inside our heads too. I am thinking of sound as an energetic manifestation. We hear the sound after it occurs? We hear its resonance. I believe that we have the ability to feel sound as it is happening. Sound is energetic. Energy creates sensation.


I use the exploration of sensations in and on my body as an attempt to feel every part of my Being that I can. I want to treat every part of this landscape that is my body equally. Maybe that is why I initially called my sensational explorations experiments. I did not know if radical Love was possible, but radical Love is a choice. You are born Love. You are told to think otherwise yet you continuously choose Love. The choice is radical. And Sonya Renee Taylor has confirmed this (The Body is Not an Apology).


Experiencing sensation is tuning into the sensitivities that exist within each of us. We carry all our experiences with us.

Trauma and joy.

And yet, we still Love.

That is radical.


Our ability to experience pleasure is connected to our innate desire to create. Pleasure is already a part of us. When we experience pleasure without shame we experience liberation. Through sensation and feeling every part of our body, we allow ourselves to be seen. Pleasures moves in a cycle of discipline and abandonment. Pleasure is not an escape. Pleasure is radical Love for yourself. Pleasure is creativity. Recognizing pleasure is life energy. Pleasure is being alive.


Audre Lorde speaks of the erotic as an “assertion of life-force… that creative energy empowered… the reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives” (Audre Lorde. Sister Outsider. 11). Showing up in Love, in pleasure, in your power, in your body exactly as is- messy, made up, exactly as you want is power.


My ability to experience a sensation in all its subtle complexities is a meditation in that I am allowing everything and anything that arises to flow from me. I am consciously aware that this body is my vessel for sensational experiences. The way I treat my body is the way my mind treats me (mind/body is one) which impacts the ways in which I feel. We always feel whether we allow ourselves to be conscious of those feelings or not.


I learned how to be within the world, and now I am learning how to dismantle what I learned as “right.” I learned that “right” and “wrong” were built on systems of oppression that affect everyone- unequally. I learned that pleasure is radical because it is sustainable. This seems contradictory, yet, so is truth. Pleasure is how I can sustain personal power. What I have learned so far from Sonya Renee Taylor, Adrienne Maree Brown, and Audre Lorde is that the intersections of pleasure are political as much as liberation itself is political and the reason why Love became radical.


Physical change starts from within and the act of radical Love starts with the self. Sometimes I notice a lack of radical choice when I recognize the yearning in another. This mirror we carry of one another reminds me of our interconnectedness. We are complex, dynamic, multifaceted and yet- we all have basic needs. And because “we are all multitudes in process…[w]e can begin to imagine a society coordinated around honest, clear, articulated longings” (Adrienne Maree Brown. Pleasure Activism. 277). When we neglect to recognize and validate our needs they become manifested through a distorted abuse of feeling. “The need for sharing deep feeling is a human need” (33). When we are afraid of following our innate desires we lack what we need. Abundance exists. You are enough and there is enough for you. Following momentum is part of the work in experiencing and recognizing sensation.


How can we allow all that arises in our body? Then, when momentary truth is recognized, how can we allow ourselves to be heard in our truth? As a mirror, your truth not only liberates yourself. Your truth gives others permission to express and explore their own actuality. When you hear something, how does it resonate in your body? When you know you want something, how does your body let you know that it wants that? What does your mind think about that either propels you forward or leads you to accept the externally prevalent face of oppression?


As I follow the momentum of my desires I uncover my own power which uncovers my own truth. We are taught not to feel safe in our desires because the outcome is unknown. Pleasure is always guiding you. We must give ourselves permission to listen to our own power. That is where the sounds are guiding you. What is the sound of radical Love? Feel it. Direct it.


-Niusha Karkehabadi


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