I spoke with my mother today about her poetry. She’s been thinking of releasing a volume of her poems from various ages that have gone unpublished because she did not pursue a career in it.
So she wanted me to take a look, see what I think.
She also told me that my grandmother, her mother, who has dementia, screams: “someone’s going to kill me” at night and she has been for the last few decades.
I’ve been thinking about the rage of women these days for various personal and professional reasons, including Kelly Germaine and Energetic Justice’s call-out of me.
(Here are my own comments on the allegations.)
In my life, I’ve had enough of being subjected to the enraged violence of women. My mother frequently beat me as a child.
And I’m not here as an adult to take it on unjustly either – unless it is in the container of kink, in which I am more than happy for it to come at me.
Then it’s absolutely a beautiful and vulnerable thing to witness.
Speaking of, my absolutely favorite Ghibli anime is Princess Mononoke. San’s rageful personification of the invaded wilderness is breath-taking. Her snarling attacks on Ashitaka, heart-wrenching.
Related, I recently had a journey of speaking to the ancestral spirits of the primordial feminine (Izanami) and masculine (Izanagi), maybe even before they had those names.
The journeying I had shown me to my vision of a small village society, where women represented a fractal of the wild and men represented a fractal of the human. And of course, the gender of individual humans was recognized to be fluid in nature and some people reflected that fluidity more than others.
In such a society, sex was understood as a reflection of this relationship between human and wild. So to say there was a blending connection between human and wild was to also say there was an energetic blending between woman and man.
In such a culture, eros, and its rituals were the number one organizing element. The function of sex itself was also very much about metabolizing the traumas in the collective field, especially as they pertain to yin and yang, wild and human.
The remnants of such practices are evident in how folk animism has evolved in so-called Japan to the modern era. Ancient shrine sites were built at places where the relationship between human and nature were held in balance. They represented thresholds where ecologies of human and wild need to be maintained for purposes such as protecting waterways and forest systems. Sex was held at these sites as a way to metabolize trauma that is there between human and the wild.
The modern Japanese sensibility of wa (和), or harmony, fundamentally couched in eros, comes from this sensibility of tending to the human-wild/cosmos relationship as we cannot live without holding that balance.
I understand all the above is secret knowledge that women (and I mean that in the widest queer definition) have already known and there is a triteness to me speaking on it.
This is also probably trite but something I noticed in my personal and professional experience is that we carry the pain of the land in our wombs (I think of men as definitely having energetic female organs) as sexual trauma. There is no differentiation and it is blended in our feminine collective unconscious.
Aluetian elder Larry Merculieff teaches that the center of the universe is a womb and woman’s body is connected directly to it and that the violence we see in the world is because our world has swung to an imbalance that is too masculine, too yang.
I’ve been teaching the same thing over the five years as Hara, the spiritual center in the abdomen-pelvis that is a central concept to Japanese culture. It’s an integral part of my cultural-somatic work to keep cultivating awareness and restfulness in Hara.
There were numerous times I heard a piece of feedback, particularly from white women, that this is work that they have been always doing, under womb work. I didn’t quite know how to respond to that at the time but I knew it was important.
Womb work and Hara work aren’t the same. But they are also the same.
Larry also tells a great story of how all the world’s elder cultures, in learning that the age of yang-excess was coming, communicated with each other through the collective unconscious to hide their teachings by purposely fragmenting it into pieces, to create a kind of hologram of the original teachings.
I think the work I do today, with others, is reconstructing something for the ages from the remnant pieces of this hologram.
This imagery helps because I’ve been wondering for a long time, what to do with the strange dynamics that come with being a male teacher who mostly guides women in connecting to their belly. I have so much to offer because of my ancestral traditions. Yet simultaneously, my ancestors’ knowledge survives in total entanglement with male-dominant imperialist society. This is a unique quality of Asian animist and embodiment practices. Think TCM or Reiki, which has a male founder.
The truth though, is that Hara practice has much of its roots in the work of generations of shaman grandmothers who were silenced through various means, including through the very recent Westernization of so-called Japan. So I can’t be expected to be a total knowledge keeper of my own ancestral traditions and on top of that I also have my masculine lived experience to contend with.
If anything, what I feel like has been so toxic to me over the last few years of building my career is that I haven’t been able to fully step into this reality. Partly because of my immaturity and partly because women are so starved of men who bare any semblance of understanding them.
It seems that my Asianness reflects a kind of shadow-y queer masculine that so much hope is rested upon and also there to absorb so much rage at the slightest hint of possible failure.
After watching Larry’s video, I took sometime to connect to the center of the universe as he recommeneded.
From there, I felt a radiant total unconditional love for all the women who have harmed me.
In the last few weeks, I let myself meet some women’s racist aggression towards me with total defiant aggression of my own. That was the only I was going to emotionally survive the attacks.
But I sit with a different anger now, because after all, how could I blame these women who have harmed me when it is their embodied legacy of the rage of feeling the destruction of land and culture itself, even if it is mostly misplaced?
Ironically, it seems their harm towards me is also violence towards what is feminine, yin, erotic, and wild embodied in my Asianness.
The tragedy of the holographic violence we are caught in. We are all each other’s mythical (not as in fictional but in meaning ancient) violators.
I caught a quick chat with my grandmother on Zoom but she did not recognize who I was.
Apparently she has had two abortions. I never knew.
Apparently my grandfather was very abusive towards her. I never knew.
But knowing that I didn’t know, I feel a deeper restfulness in my Hara.