י״ז בַּאֲדָר תשע״ח Hebrew, 17th of Adar, 5778 || Gregorian 3/4/2018 || Islamic Hijri date: 16 Jumada Al-Akhirah, 1439 || ~time between lunar new year + tomb sweeping festival~
My father side family comes from the south of Taiwan: political dissidents, academics, midwives, fishermen, protectors of the land and ocean. My mother side family comes from the north of Taiwan: tea merchants, shopkeepers, Buddhist monastics. In this lineage, I’ve been thrown out of family homes, academic and religious institutions for organizing and challenging family members, presidents and abbots on the lies they tell to block people from access to spirit and ancestors. With writing our family fire, we burn the mist of western and Confucian patriarchy-controlled mythology. With warmth, we light a safe path to the secret world of Buddhism and indigenous dharma-spirituality as a travel stop-refuge. People taking refuge here to rest their xin: ancestors, homelands, imaginations, grounding, body and spirit. I believe travelers bring blockages, which can be transformed into gifts. By sharing gifts, we create an endogenous cycle sifting through our collective feminine shame and guilt. I believe in sharing our tales of Taiwan, tea, travel, trauma, terror, temple, tradition, transcendence vs. liberation, people can start to sonically and emotionally re-connect to their truths: ancient and anew understandings of living well where they are.
I live in rural southeast Taiwan this year due to documentation challenges in both the east and west, enjoying being an auntie by our beautiful blue na-noon, building a tea home with my grandmas, mamas, aunties, siblings, sharing homegrown tea and homemade pineapple cakes. We drink tea, elevating the everyday in ceremony because sacred balance begins by accessing spirit, which I’ve always found around a cup of good tea. This all fuels my writing: loving jeremiads for all friends who create tranquil serenity in their homelands. May these stories be prayers that can never be stolen, like flowers that grow anywhere there is earth, water, fire…the ingredients of our original home, to remind us we are well on our home-going journeys.