🕟 time to release this Taiwanese medicine🍵
pre-order ‘xin: why we are dying’ for $36 now!
The hope, the dream, the vision is for this book’s story and relief to flow into our grandmas’, mothers’, aunties’, sisters’ hands and hearts.
revitalization of the feminine is the economics of karma: watering kindness. what is the dharma of water?
~~~interlude: a story of three 🍵 times~~~
After returning my father’s ashes to his village, I flew to occupied turtle island/U.S.A. with a tea set from my 台中, where er-yi housed grandmother, a-ma’s last town before passing into the spirit world. Her ashes sit in a grove of trees somewhere in those mountains. I rededicated myself to the vow to continue her as a good woman, in the way of 團圓, nurturing the harmony of family yet in a way perhaps unrecognizable to her, a way ancient and anew. I set my xin in this teapot, our family tradition and generational practice, our island earth fired vessel and tea leaves to bless our travels ahead.
While sharing tea ceremony and an excerpt from xin’s manuscript with Jyothi, the managing editor of Asian American Writer’s Workshop, she read it and cried, saying that she’d never heard a voice like this and that this was “our lemonade” (which Beyoncé, her Majesty of the USA had just released on my birthday 4/23/2016).
Living and recovering in a community big sister’s home as she nursed her new baby, in-laws visiting from Gujarat and grandma making daily rotis and commissioning me to assist as her sous chef, we sweltered in the humid, semi-similar climate of HTX. Apart from therapy, I left this sanctuary only to write in the Houston Writers of Color workshop, as the first AAPI participant.
I woo’ed our magical teacher Adrienne with tea ceremony, because she saw the soul of this book with just the first few pieces.
“It was so clear in reading it [xin] that you are working to break silence here and to address what is unsayable–unsayable because of culture, gender, tradition, habit. It’s also clear from the work that there is something being worked out/through regarding relationships between women, and there is also the strong through-line of spirituality.”
— Adrienne Perry, editor Gulf Coast Magazine
At the final reading, I brought xin’s finished 1st draft manuscript with the teapot northward.
First, per the recommendation of the big sis who’d housed me, I sought out her favorite Harvard Divinity School professor, Professor Hallisley about the work I saw a path for my studies in. He listened and then responded that it was much more engaged in the world, and that HDS was more of a pure academic institution so that I may instead seek out Dr. Layli Maparyan at the Wellesley Centers for Women. While walking past the bursting spring gardens in the winding lots of Cambridge, I made an appointment to go/return to my alma mater.
There was a house in the back roads of Wellesley, the Wellesley Centers for Women. Dr. Maparyan swooped our in her fabulous, blazing bright top and white tailored pants to welcome me into her office. We sat and I finally shared what was in my xin on the intersections of womanism, Buddhism and economics. She, the premier scholar and anthologist on womanism, told me that I must pursue this work, that in her years of study, she’d never heard someone present these ideas and intersections. With a few book recommendations and promise to order teas from Taiwan and have another ceremony, and to introduce me to Third Women Press who’d just published her anthology, I left, giddy about finding the rare mentor who saw my xin, spiritually and intellectually, and could guide the way.
Over tea a year ago, post my birthday, I met with Kim Tran at a cute Oakland cafe. Kim, a queer Vietnamese scholar and Third Women Press co-owner was excited to have this manuscript brought to TWP, but upon reflection at the potential impact of this book when widely distributed (how to reach more xin’s), she suggested I go to the top 5 publishing houses with xin. Then with 2nd printing, return to TWP.
May 2016-March 2018
xin sharing in community
Wellesley College Taiwanese Cultural Association & Philosophy Club, alumna talk on mental health
WriteSpace 2nd Annual Houston Writers of Color reading
W.O.W. Project 1st Annual Chinatown Storytelling Open Mic
Leslie Lohman 1st annual Queer Writers Resist reading
Turning Wheel Media
Nat. Brut: invisible weight folio
I’m sending out query letters 2.28, the day that started Taiwan’s white terror martial law 71 years ago, in 1947. I vow, to and with my ancestors, that we will undo the white terrors that eerily returned to haunt and engulf the west. We have been freeing ourselves and our medicine is as potent as our island love.
Bless this creation with your prayers! all is ceremony, so welcome to sharing water🌀❤️💧🌊🔥✨💌
Suggested money offering: $36
(Tell me who/what effort the offering is for: translators/artist/writer. At $36, you will receive a book when it comes out! And much gratitude if you want to get me an extra sweet birthday gift. Like books, ink or dumplings, the waters that feed this writer!)
support this grassroots work of all coastal/island based queer indigenous +/or womyn of color editing, translation into Spanish (Caracol Interpreters Collective: $5000) and Chinese (Taiwan based femme translator and editor: $3500) and a community organized appendix of questions. 8% royalties goes to the work of the artists: Carol 修安 Lin, queer Taiwanese femme artist, and anya liao 廖卿云, queer Chinese midwestern femme clothesmaking artist, for the 2 different Chinese waves this story accompanies.
We will stop being fictions and impossibilities to ourselves and each other, our communities and the “mainstream.” We will be free!
Much love, strength and power and 平安 to you and your dearests.
伊凌 yi ling