An invitation to RADICAL TENDERNESS (me-in-you)

This poetic text was written in collaboration with Vanessa Andreotti. It registers thoughts expressed by the collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures during the Gorca Summer Residency in Slovenia in August 2017 and the Vancouver Living Lab in Canada in January 2018.

 

RADICAL TENDERNESS is practicing attunement

It is listening to collective unuttered wisdom, nurturing intrinsic, rather than productive value

It is engaging with each other beyond desires for consensus, coherence and control

It is dancing beyond the loop of identification and disidentification

It is letting go of possessions, of posessiveness

It is feeling part of a wider metabolism with a much longer temporality

It is queering time

It is setting what matters in the time when we no longer inhabit this body

It is to be sense-full, to allow our state of wondering to stay open, without always trapping it into meaning

It is not holding “being” hostage to “knowing”

It is presencing what we don’t know, what we can’t know, and what is unknowable (in ourselves and others)

It is quieting the narrativization of the world and enjoying being in silence with each other

 

RADICAL TENDERNESS is being receptive to the teachings of our shadows

It is fermenting ourselves, mourning illusions, composting our shit

It is balancing the use of our pre-frontal cortex and our pineal gland

It is looking in the mirror and confronting what is not beautiful without turning the gaze

It is disinvesting in arrogance, superiority, mastery, and control

It is to embrace oneself as both cute and pathetic

It is is going beyond projections and compensations

It is decentering, disarming, decluttering, discerning, deflattening

It is not being afraid of fear, disapointability, or nothingness

It is discovering a whole bus of people inside oneself

It is not casting upon everything a blanket of interpretation

 

RADICAL TENDERNESS is engendering new forms of co-existence

It is engaging through artful participation

It is respecting different medicines and working through affinities and differences

It is tuning in with, not just empathizing with

It is witnessing ourselves and each other moving between our comfort, stretch and panic zones

It is knowing that people can begin to heal when they are heard

It is breaking the cycle in which people with trauma are demanded to share their stories in order to be validated

It is ‘mandar obedeciendo’, as the zapatistas say

It is relating beyond identity, knowledge and understanding

It is dissolving the limits and weight of your body by allowing others to move through, with and for you

 

RADICAL TENDERNESS es el dolor de transpasar el corazón (or the pain of piercing the heart)

It is turning the heart into a verb: corazonar, senti-pensar

It is neither me nor you, is me and you, me in you

It is not about belonging, it is about being whole with the whole shabang

It is not either or, but both and more

It is looking at painful and difficult things with the love of really wanting to see

It is learning from repeated mistakes in order to only make new ones in the future

It is listening to the non-human authority, and caring about our relationship to it

It is about being open to what we can’t understand

It is conditioning the muscles that enable neurogenesis

It is learning to breathe water together

 

Radical Tenderness is to hospice a world that is dying …while respecting its integrity and the teachings it offers

Radical Tenderness is assisting with the birth of something new, which is potentially, but not necessarily, wiser…without suffocating and over-coding it with projections

Radical Tenderness is being critical and loving, at the same time

Radical Tenderness is appropriable and ever-changing