Essay in Tarka Journal
I have an essay titled "When Yoginis Appear With Animals: Animistic Relational Elements and the Non-Dual Matrix" in the "On Tantra" issue of Tarka Journal.
This was an important essay for me to write into and from the borderlands of lineage and memory in tantra, earth-based spirituality, and theory as healing.
While the text was written as a cross-genre invitation—and accepted by the journal as such—only the first part of the article appears in the print issue. As I write in the introduction to the text:
"The text brings together the academic and artistic modes in a process of a praxis that engages complexity and a both/and orientation towards epistemology. Its invitation to multiple perspectives becomes a stimulus to the reader to open a space of being that can mediate the gap between concepts and experience. The casting of the language of poetry enables meanings and responses to emerge that cannot be generated through academic prose alone."
Distinguished scholar of Indian art Vidya Dehejia had written to me about the poem sequence: "The poetry scares me—it is so powerful."
While reading the academic essay alone will bring forth only part of the meaning, gnosis, and critical knowledge I had intended when bringing two ways of writing in conversation, I hope you will still be stimulated by it.
Likewise, I hope one day poetry will receive its due recognition in mainstream academic conversations for the ways of knowing and the epistemic encounters it enables and fosters. I hope poet-scholars will continue to create from that exigency.
UPDATE: I heard back that Tarka is working to make the article available in its totality in the online version of the issue on tarkajournal.com.
TO BE MENTORED BY RAJ KAPOOR
In Rahul Rawail's Raj Kapoor: The Master at Work, you meet a filmmaker who trusted and followed through with his creative instinct, vision, and direction completely—not letting himself be stopped by obstacles. You meet a perspicacious and generous mentor. You meet someone in touch with his inner child—a lover of fine things, a prankster. He was who he was unabashedly. He was Raj Kapoor. Beloved auteur, artiste, actor.
In the Prologue to the book, Kapoor appears to Rawail in a dream, and reminds him that "using your creativity, intelligence and the human feel" were "the most essential ingredients for making a film." The second half of the book narrates episodes from the making of the film Bobby—and, towards the end, we read of incidents from Rawail's own filmmaking process, in which he shows how he handled problems by applying what he had learned from Kapoor.
Somehow—beautifully, magically—the book lets you be mentored by Raj Kapoor himself.
At least, this was the smidge I was left with—presence and blessing lingering. What a beautiful gift, and to me its arrival felt unforced, flowing out of the deep respect and affection with which Rawail himself received—and shares—what he learned from his mentor and teacher.
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