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Last month, I went back to An Fainne for the first time in ages. I… - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Jun. 21st, 2009|04:01 am]
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Last month, I went back to An Fainne for the first time in ages. I went mainly because I knew the person writing the article for that month's discussion. But going back there reawakened some bits that I'd forgotten about. For one, I was back in a space that was not only "safe" but sacred too. I've been in "safe spaces" where people are all too happy to break the safety for their own gratification, and the leaders of that space to be unable to deal with it. But, in An Fainne, there's no guarantee to the safety of the space, but more to the sacredness (if that's even a word - firefox thinks it is) of that space. And I find that the people there, are far more unlikely to break that sacred aspect, and therefore makes it a safe space.

That night, especially in the pub afterwards, I got a feeling that I should start re-integrating sacred aspects into my life. Frequently, I live my personal life on a "nothing is sacred" basis; if I'm part of a group, I will use derogatory, or "family", phrases. (I really like the term "family words" to mean that these are words you should not use unless you're part of that particular family).

In fact, I've been thinking about that reintegration for longer, at least in terms of going back to basics, re-learning to use tools that have been available to me, but that I've truly forgotten, and becoming aware of states of being that I've not been in for at least a year.

The funny aspect was that it was driven home to me by tonight's excursion to Funky Seomra (for the benefit of non-Irish speakers, "Seomra" is the Irish for "room"), an alcohol and drug free festival club night; the first thing to great my eyes was a sign wishing the patrons of Funky Seomra a happy summer solstice. The people there were family - just not family that I'd thought about in a while. Moreover, I got talking to an old friend of mine and she told me about her own excursions into sacred space. She told me about drumming circles in Dublin in such a matter of fact way that I'd never have expected to hear from her. She told me that she gets what I used to say about energy, and spaces.

All of this drove home that I need to do something, and I don't just mean An Fainne. I don't mean it in a bad way, but depending on the members attending at any one time, the discussion can go quite academic. When I talk to the academics, they don't get why I don't like watching their distortions of our activities to fit their theory du jour. It's the same beef I have with queer academics, one which I inappropriate projected onto Kate Bornstein (mainly because so many queer academics quoted her in papers, and in ways I now understand to be misguided - in fact I think, when I first met Kate, I thanked her for making sense, because I'd read Gender Workbook, and disliked it, and then encountered many, many misappropriations of her work, and my opinion was shaped by my reaction to the interpretations of her work by certain academics). The basics are, to understand it, you just do it and feel your way about. Watching from the outside and trying to distill the essence without truly understanding the experience, or even experiencing what's on offer, is pointless, misleading and encouraging totally the wrong people to do the same. It wasn't until I encountered this kind of academic first-hand did I truly get Skunk Anansie's "Intellectualise my blackness"

In fact, it's possibly one of the reasons I like skating - you don't see academic papers harping on about "the drive of the skating community to transgress bipedal modes", you just do it or you don't, there's no room for the academia. There's no schism between the intellectual concept of skating and the actual action of it. Conversely, you could read papers describing their messed up theories of pagan culture, that are totally removed from the members of that culture; we do it for our own deeply personal reasons, that we don't talk about. Of all the things to talk about in my life, my spiritual experiences are one of the more difficult topics; it's partially because they belong to a different space, and partially because there's an unwritten rule that you don't talk about them unless you have permission to. Instead, we talk around them, we talk about our impressions of those experiences, the circumstances, the results, and our feelings about them. Rarely are the encounters themselves shared, unless you know you're among friends, and almost never do you write them down. All of that leads to a separation of the intellectualisation of the experience and the experience itself, even in a circle of people who live what they're talking about.

So, I want first-hand experience again, and I think I might have found a first step in stepping back into that space where I actually do it. It's a nice experience.