Monday, October 08, 2007

My friend is going to become a Trappistine. I'm not sure if this is the abbey she has chosen (or chose her) but her email announcing this comes at a time when I'm trying to reconcile many of my own contradictions. Naturally, her announcement brings tears to my eyes. Life's major decisions can be so simple sometimes: A calling to a life of silence and prayer. Calling. Obedience.

This friend did her MA thesis on reconciling her Catholic faith with the recovery of Filipino indigenous spiritual values. I know it is possible (I was on her MA committee with Rosemary Radford Reuther). But somehow for me, this process is taking much longer and is taking me to places I've never thought to look before. So I'm looking at many different things at once: indigenous spirituality, eco-theology, radical feminism, postcolonial trauma, etc. What I'm finding out is that the body has it's own wisdom about where it wants to go. If the psychic split of modern subjectivity is to be healed and made whole, then we must return to the place of beginnings: the body. This body has a History that it needs to unpack and reconstruct.

I am a body-in-relation to other bodies. As we read our bodies as texts, we realize that our interpretations are subjected to a priori discourses about what it means to be a human being, male and female. As a Filipina and a postcolonial subject, I have been colonized by these discourses. If I want to return to the place of beginnings, I must re-trace my steps and work my way back to the wisdom of my body. Easier said than done.

Monks live in silence and "you are only a real monk when you live by the work of your hands."
This way of life feels right to me.

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