Sunday, December 21, 2008

shape-shifting the work we do...

I've been having conversations lately with women who are tired of academic work and want to be independent scholars if only they can support themselves financially while doing it. That's part of what I want to research now -- how to support women doing important work but are not institutionally affiliated. Also - how to build credibility for work that is not always institutionally validated. I sense that means finding those networks that are already doing this. I know they exist. If only I were more tech savvy... it seems that's where the potential lies.

The kind of work that lies just beyond the margins of what is called "academic rigor" (as defined by a supposedly objective science) -- is important and necessary more than ever. But there will always be this issue of gatekeeping. And there are those of us who will always be finding ways of getting around those gates and gatekeepers by building our own wisdom communities based on a different paradigm that is more humane, inclusive, and non-hierachical. Work that is not damaging to the spirit but supportive of the need for wholeness of body, mind, and soul.

To build our own wisdom communities -- this is the challenge. As our communities are often virtual, transnational, diasporic -- how do we define community? For me, this hinges on a common vision, and anchoring this vision locally while imagining its diasporic possibilities.

In my recent travels and meeting Filipino babaylans/artists/culture-bearers and resonating with their profound vision of Wholeness, something shifted within me. Something very deep, very loving, transformative, radical. I cannot deny the impact of this experience on my body, my psyche, my spirit and now all I want to do is to challenge myself on how to transform my academic capital (if it can be called this) to serve this larger vision.

A few weeks ago, I again asked the baybayin oracle cards for insight. These are the three cards:
1) prepare to fly. prepare for expansive emotional, psychic, and spiritual growth.
2) the door that's been closed - don't keep trying to push it open.
3) look for new kin.


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