Monday, July 27, 2015

First Word: Tessa Too-Kong: Temptation

…is chocolate, in all its forms. Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist everything except temptation!” and I agree! I have submitted, admitted defeat, surrendered to the temporary bliss and proximal (?) consequences – overweight, diabetes, hypertension… . It cannot be a coincidence that our tastes and inclinations are primed to desire all the forbidden fruits. What joy is there in repression, celibacy, suppressing the instincts, unless you are a masochist? Or is there a higher pleasure we should aspire to through self-denial that we will only appreciate once we get there? My nannie Edith used to sing, 
            The Devil is a sly old fox,
            if I could catch him, I’d put him in a box,
            lock the door and throw away the key,
            for all the tricks he’s played on me. 
            Once we can blame the Devil, like Eve, it’s his responsibility and it’s a game between him and God and we are but the miserable pawns. Why is there temptation? What does it achieve? Do we become morally superior to our former selves, like a snake shedding its old skin, or a larva metamorphosing?
            And how many skins do we need to shed, especially when it’s the same old temptation? (Others’ temptations leave me cold – subjective it is! Mine is not stealing other women’s husbands or murdering my neighbour…  though it might be watching too much cable TV or playing too much bridge). I long ago lost the temptation to quarrel (and I did have a temper) so that’s one skin I stepped out of… or to speak my mind (unless asked) - I learned early on not to give unwanted advice to my adult children – I now have to not resist the temptation to smile when they come to me for advice. Maybe I am on Cloud Nine already. Tempt me all you want…!

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