Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Babaylan book is dedicated to Kalpna Mistry.

You would have turned 30 on June 13.
Thank you, Kalpna, for inspiring and challenging me to forge ahead and create energy out of the abundance and beauty of my indigenous Filipina soul.
The Babaylan conference brought together folks who have been hiding in the woodwork, laboring alone with their love for indigenous Filipino knowledge and practices. They are artists, storytellers, healers, educators, mothers, sisters, daughters, activists, scholars -- we all came together, Kalpna, and in my heart I held you or you held me close.  I know you were there in the midst of it all. You were happy with me and Miriam. You were happy with the community that was gathered there.  You helped me create this container - yes, it is a container - for all these precious gifts that we have.

My grief was transformed as I slowly learned the lessons I needed to learn about death and departures. Katrin said death doesn't separate us, there is only a veil between us and that if I want to, I can talk to you anytime. So here I am, Kalpna, talking to you, writing to you as if we're only separated by time. In mythic time, there is no separation. We are one. We are kapwa.

My teaching has been transformed, too. This past semester I changed the way I teach. I remember the stories you told about your classroom and how you connect with students and I wanted to be that kind of teacher. I wanted to be passionate and uninhibited by stale norms. And I did and it was fun and it created community.

Dear Kalpna, please continue to be my guide. I have much to learn.

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