Monday, July 30, 2007

Powerful Filipina Women

Thank you, Holly, for sharing Irigaray with your friend. And to Grace, for the extended reflection on the ethics of Eros at her blog. And to Jean, for her new project inspired by the Eros dialogues in this space.

Grace's challenge: ... the degree that community leaders-take on their own sexuality and embrace eros and creative power within themselves and all other levels, they create an energetic field of possibilty which gives permission for others to find ,as Eve Ensler says the “power moan” within themselves. And when we all “go there” in whatever way feels responsible and culturally appropriate for each of us, we can find home deep, deep inside and we can be at home as Pinays and Pinoys- in the world, wherever we are- alone or with others.
The question I started with this spring and into summer, prodded by Eileen: Why haven't you dealt with the topic of sexuality in your work on decolonization? has opened up a space for dialogue...a dialogue we have all held within and with our bodies for perhaps millenia as Filipina women conditioned under colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy. We were led to consider the word Eros and the need to expand the meaning of this word beyond its popular connotations. Some of you took the risk to become vulnerable and risk telling your secrets so that we may enter into deeper communion with each other. I see this as the potential of babaylan-inspired work - the capacity to enlarge the container of our bodies, hearts, and souls so that we may hold these stories sacred, so that we may weave them into wholeness and release them back into the world as healing medicine.

I am not embarrassed to say that I have cried many times this summer as these dialogues evolved. As the stories unfolded, I realized that I was being asked to put my theory-loving mind in the backburner for now so that I may learn to listen through my body. I am not an emotional person, my sisters will tell you that. They will tell you that, of the five of us, I am the most "even-keeled, held-together" one; my passion shows up only in my writing. Perhaps, there is a new me emerging...and I am scared.

As Eros has now intruded in our lives to ask us to move this energy in the universe, I can't wait to see what we are capable of creating to answer the questions: What is the connection between sexual trauma and colonial trauma? Why haven't you dealt with the issue of sexuality within the process of decolonization?

Some of you have already whispered your dreams:
I want to do a Ph.d. now that I am clear on the questions that I want to pursue!
I'm thinking of going back to school!
I want to make films!
I'm writing a play!
My body wants to produce poem-babies!

Paring Bert's incantation: Create Energy!!

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