I've just read Against Joie de Vivre, a challenging and deeply introspective essay by Phillip Lopate (I found the essay here, among ten essay's identified by Robert Atwan as the best since 1950). This is a celebrated essay for a reason: it pushes the reader to explore some of their own attitudes, shortcomings and outlooks on their position in the human condition. I'm not sure where to start, but I'd love to get a discussion going about this essay. Have you read it? I identify with the "In the Here-and-now" and "Making Love" sections most--I think Lopate characterizes some of the ethereal inner tension often at work in our lives, especially with regard to "the sex act". If nothing else, at least there is a link to some good, free writing above that could be a benefit to any contemporary writer.