Friday, August 07, 2009
and this, too:
What kind of dialogue can emerge between the urban or avant-garde artist and the babaylan--with her traditions and healing rituals, her community, and her deep relation to the earth and the body? Are there rifts and fissures between the two? In what ways can the two modes inform and heal each other?
in another conversation with a friend, these questions are relevant to the above: what of the land-nation/nationalism-body connection? in what ways does the writer embody the land? how does the indigenous writer straddle the notion of nation - this artificial construction of empire? how does she use language to work through the disembodiment engendered by nation and empire?
our conversation meandered and we never arrived at an answer. but this story brought tears to her eyes:
she learned how to use her body to embrace the land when an Aeta elder took her by the hand and led her inside the circle of dance among her people. just follow the dance, she told her. as her mind let go and her body obeyed, she entered another world and when she re-emerged she was no longer her former self. the dance had transformed her forever. now as she sits across from me and i'm trying to coax her into an articulate rendering of this dance, she begs off:
there is no language for this, Auntie, she tells me.
oh surely we need to language this, i insist.
but i sense that she is right. it is my inarticulate body that yearns to dance.
until then, i can play with syntax until i learn to overthrow the teleological order that enthrones it.