Friday, September 28, 2007

as if to counter the unsettling emotions that arise from thinking about war, i think of this:

to caress is to be aware of the qualities veiled in communal life, qualities that civil laws and practices should guarantee to all, removed from the violence of an everyday life which has no concern for intersubjectivity, removed from the violence of utilitarian practice -- whether it involves commerce in the strict sense or the commerse of sexual desire-- removed from a gaze or a practice not concerned with respecting the other.

the caress is also praise. it is homage of the evening, of the feast, of the spring to what i have perceived, sensed and experienced of you during the day, the week, the winter, during daily life clothed in the grey of ordinary demands, of urban transit, of the submission of sensible rhythms to the instruments of labor and to the rules of citizenship. (Irigaray, to be two).

i have always translated "intersubjectivity" as pakikipagkapwa-tao. this word - Kapwa - evokes for me a universe of relations that is seamless, fluid, passionate, fecund, all-encompassing, respectful, non-possessive. to say -- you are my Kapwa -- is i love to you in the language of Irigaray.

i suppose this is my roundabout way of saying that what the French philosopher has learned from Buddhism, the Filipina has always known and carried in her body. let her body awaken to this truth, dug up from the rubble of colonial history, dusted up and dressed up in full naked regalia of her gloriousness and sensousness. without shame or guilt. only love uttered in her own tongue. say it. write it.

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