my night with a spiritual white woman.

by danelibler

No it’s not my hair, I often see my exact stickfigure-drawn locks sticking out from under Carhartt beanies and Skida headbands. White Vermont girls love a warmed scalp.  

No, it’s not my personal brand. I swing on a pendulum somewhere stationed between esoteric-candygirl-comrade and Steve-O, from the Jackass franchise. We are in high supply; especially in Burlington, the only issue here is low demand among samaritans due to public destruction yield. 

To be utmost frank with you; upon arriving on campus, I question daily whether I have accidentally stumbled upon a guerilla art performance piece. One that employs strategically placed mirrors to force college students to confront their perpetuation of late-stage capitalism through materialistic garb and productivity facade, face to face. Pun intended. But as it turns out I just look like every other white bitch here. 

How I quantify my uniqueness in Vermont is by asking myself am I an earth-honoring white woman? 

The answer being absolutely:


No, I do not yearn for the squish of soil under my feet, I sleep with shoes on. I hardly notice local wildlife around me except when there is a squirrel to scare, and in lieu of greeting each day with a “good morning, sun” or ending with a ‘good night, moon”, my body simply snaps in half while bellowing a tortured banshee’s traditional grieving shriek. 

That all being said, I do not wish for the demise of the Earth. Yet, do I really honor her either? I frequently view my body like it’s a Fischer-Price child’s fishing net trying to catch anything in a white water river. Basically;  a vessel for toxins to pass through, chaotic thrashing, and the occasional fish may find its way inside to promote nail and hair health.  

I am not proud of this, merely stating the fact. I have no connection to the earth or its organized inhabitants; no land is mine without my ancestor’s genocide, no religion to follow without my condemnation to hell, no traditions or knowledge of the natural land and scape. No relationship with my parents. 

It’s not my disconnection from anything living or dead that makes me special. Many belong to that group. No it’s the awareness of how out of place I am in nature. 

Fortunately, if there is one thing I have learned in my nearly four years of life in Burlington; it’s that there is a class for every micro neanderthalian human emotion.

 So I smashed a bottle of Henry’s $7.99 red atop my head and got to lapping up the blood, chards, and wine in preparation for my zoom call with Ellen Allen – local spiritual white woman and the leading professional in traditional Chinese medicine and Tibetan yoga. 

Ellen begins our call with an exercise. She asks all participants to push the boundaries of a box that we find ourselves in. Ellen outstretched her arms into a ‘T’ formation, placing both hands on the inner edges of her Zoom screen. Then began the grunting. “We are more than the box Zoom puts us in.” Ellen encouraged us all to join her in breaking free of our zoom cell block encaptivating us. Nancy, the class pet was the only one able to breach her box. Her hands birthed through the top of her own screen and entered through the bottom of Gertrude’s. Suspiciously, Nancy’s hand never returns to her box and Gertrude’s knee-length petty skirt seems to have grown a heartbeat that gets faster with every moan. 

My elemental water streams from one eye. I thought Nancy liked me. 

After our reenactment of a 2020 Mime convention. Ellen lectures to us about the Human/Nature split, which is a concept that humans think of themselves as different from nature, often ranking humans over nature. 

I push Ellen’s theory by saying how I believe that a Human/Nature split is natural and mutually beneficial. 

“It’s only merciful to separate humans and nature, *Elder Allen,” I explain to her. 

“Those two cosmic entities totally have an unhealthy, dependent relationship.” One where humans constantly, beat, demoralize, extort, manipulate, and prey upon nature. In my mind, we couldn’t separate these two astral-planes-of-living further from each other. 

Ellen has no comment. Instead, she offers me a three-step program towards dissolving my human/nature divide. 

1.)Get outside more. 

Use step three as an incentive. 

2.)Stop the commodification of nature. 

Settlers of Catan is like really fucked for Nature commodification reasons. 

3.)Reimagine your relational intimacy:

Fuck a tree. But, if you fuck a sappling I will literally murder you. 

By the end of the class, I was still left with one nagging question. Had I finally become earth-honoring, like Ellen? 

I reach my hands back to run my fingers through my dyed-blonde, frayed hair. My fingers catch on something. It was my first blonde dreadlock forming off the back of my head. I knew Ellen had changed my lifeforce forever. 

* (Ellen asked us all to call her elder; I theorize because she is both a narcissist and read it in a Thanksgiving-themed Magic tree house book where Jack and Annie called their Indigenous teacher, ‘Elder’.)

Categories: 8, dane libler, interviews, oct. 12, vol 25

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