Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sometimes I am full of shit. I talk too much and it's not even charming.

I fear I have lost my beloved.

Monday, October 29, 2007


OK maybe the muse hasn't left me. Maybe I can allow myself the hope that I still have a beloved to whom I can offer all my efforts, and the months ahead of work will not be as lonely as I thought.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ablutions and humiliations

I wake up in the mornings much too early. At 5:30, sometimes earlier, no matter what time zone I am in, no matter if I am jetlagged, no matter what time I went to bed the night before.

In the past, this has been a blessing, allowing me to spend some time by myself before the day gets going, before the child wakes up, before meetings have to be attended, classes taught, rehearsal to be run. But presently, this space by myself just offers me too much opportunity to fall into an obsessive-compulsive ritual of 1) a hopeful checking of emails, followed by 2) a dashing of hopes, then 3) weeping (is today's cry a little shorter than yesterday's?).

Then, after the coffee, after the child has been taken to school, after the other daily ablutions, I do a practice. And miraculously, at the end of it, I feel more able to take on the day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tony Leung

After watching Wen Wei's new piece (so much beauty I was anaestheticized), I went with Kugler to see Ang Lee's latest film, Lust, Caution. The film - pff - while not quite nul, was unsatisfying. But Tony Leung is HOT.

He also reminded me of Sébastien.

Friday, October 19, 2007

chicken with mama sauce

This is what I cook for Junhong as comfort food for both of us. The comfort comes in both the cooking and the eating. It is a chicken recipe that is inspired by my grandmother's chicken dish. She would put tons of shitake mushrooms in it when she cooked it for me because she knew I liked them. Before the rest of the family arrived for dinner, she would fish the mushrooms out for me especially, to make sure I got my fill of them.

I make my version with or without shitake mushrooms because Junhong is his own man and does not love shitake mushrooms like I do.

This dish says remember, I love you. You are my best beloved.

Chicken braised with Ginger
A good hunk of fresh ginger - say, the size of 2 thumbs - sliced.
8 chicken thighs
dried shitake mushrooms - soaked in hot water till soft.
oyster sauce
rice wine or vermouth or sherry

brown chicken thighs in pan, skin side down. Turn over. Once the underside is brown, throw in ginger and toss around. After a minute, pour in a splash or two or wine/vermouth/sherry. When the alcohol has evaporated, add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Stir in a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce. Place shitake mushrooms around chicken. Cover and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, until chicken and mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Green onion and Ginger sauce
1 bunch of green onions
a hunk of fresh ginger - 1 or 2 thumbs, depending on how gingery you like it.
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or peanut)
dash of sesame oil

chop green onions finely.
grate ginger.
Mix both with a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar (or to taste) in small heatproof bowl.
Heat vegetable oil till almost smoking.
Pour hot oil into green onion mixture. Hear the sizzle. Inhale the aroma. Mix well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

citizenship #2

A few weeks ago I received a summons from the sherrif's office to report for jury duty. This is the second time I have been so summoned in my 7 years as citizen of this country. Despite my pride (indeed!) at being asked to partake in this duty of citizenry, this is also the second time I have asked to be excused, each time writing long eloquent letters about how it would cause not only financial hardship but would disrupt the programming of many organizations around me.

Today I received a letter from the sherrif (I can't help but picture a guy with a cowboy hat, a star on his breast, a gun and pointy boots...)saying

Dear Su-Feh Lee,
You have requested to be excused from jury duty.
You are excused.

Aah..such simplicity of words.

Monday, October 15, 2007


my body is my temple
my body is my lab
my body is my nation

How to be open to new experiences and new definitions without being lacerated?
In opening up oneself to new experiences, one inevitably opens up to disease and mortality. Yet to close the doors and shutters is to create dis-ease and to eventually die of hunger.
How then to let go of control as a way of defining oneself - how to respond to change by subtly adjusting and re-organising instead of setting up impermeable borders and armours.

How to live freely, transforming the embrace of Eros and Thanatos into a fearless dance with the cosmos?


Benoît said that sometimes you have a right to take, and not always be giving, as a performer.

I am reminded that the whole obsession about giving without asking for something in return had a second part, which I seem to have forgotten lately:

How to steal without incurring a sense of loss in the one you have stolen from?

Friday, October 12, 2007

the pork recipe

If I can no longer dance or make art, I can always become famous for my slow-roasted pork shoulder:

2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 tbs peppercorns
12 cloves
1 tbs seasalt
2 bay leaves
2 tbs coarse chop fresh rosemary
6 cloves garlic thinly sliced

grind above
score pork fat (skinless unrolled untied shoulder- 4 or 5 lbs)
cover in rub. leave in fridge overnight.
pat off excess rub. cook fat side up at 225° C. for 15 minutes. Turn oven
down to 125°C. and bake for 6-8 hours. let stand 15 minutes before

letting go

This morning as I said to Benoît that I was feeling a sudden lack of confidence in my ability to dance, I felt the sudden prick of tears in my eyes. Tears of fear and loss. If the new sensation of dancing as if in the arms of your beloved is not to be trusted, how to know where to dance from?

Benoît suggested that old tools had their place if there was alignment.

David said last night, sometimes you think you are giving when really you are asking.

I want my fluid self to be part of a great river, not a mushy puddle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

pleasure is delusional

This summer, while working on my solo, I was thrilled at the discovery of dancing as if in the arms of your beloved. So pleasurable, so easy, I thought I had discovered the wheel or something: a response to the usual framework it seemed to me that dance operated from - dancing in longing for the beloved. I thought I had discovered a new value system to change the world with.

Well, this morning, I looked for the first time at the video of my solo showing at the end of July. Well, holy crap, fuck that shit. What a namby pamby body. Dancing as if in the arms of your beloved makes for crap art.

Same thing when Benoît and I were looking at videos of the Body-Scan process the other night. Parts that we remembered as particularly pleasurable to be in were horrendous to watch.

So, if pleasure is delusional, does that mean pain is the alternative? No. Because pain is equally delusional.

Curiosity is my proposition.


This morning, in Benoît's living room, I did a yoga practice and then sat and meditated for 20 minutes. Om shanti shanti shanti. Afterwards, I marvelled, rather unyogically, at my AWESOME ability to centre myself amidst the clutter of somebody else's life, amidst the obsessive-compulsive chatter of my brain, and despite the ache of a bruised heart. I AM SO THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE!

Then Benoît and I sat together over coffee and made each other feel better about life.
I told him the story of my midwives during Junhong's birth and was comforted myself:

During the transition between the labour and the active pushing - that very difficult place called The Transition, I remember being in the bath crying and feeling panic-stricken that I was going to be stuck in this place for the rest of my life. That I wasn't going to transition. In the midst of this fear, I heard the sound of cards being laid on the table in a game of patience by the very calm midwives. I remember thinking, what the fuck..? What the hell do they think they're doing playing cards when I am in crisis here? Then one of them came over and said, don't worry, the baby always comes out in the end.

Well, she was right.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

the beloved

Can you love someone who cannot receive it? Can you send a message if there is no receiver? Can you touch someone who does not want to be touched?


I am in Montréal, getting what I didn't get in Ghent:

A good meal. Quite a few good meals in fact. I am sitting in a restaurant called Romeo on Mont-Royal drinking my second glass of primitivo with a very good salad of yellow and red beets.

And today, while in a fetal position in Tonja's arms, crying - being held.

scanning for an orgasm

In Body-Scan, we are proposing a body that is in constant re-organisation so that it can receive and transmit without lacerating itself. This requires a practice of listening intently and responding to EVERYTHING, being ready to let go of desire, of goals, being open to change. So that your perception of yourself can change and be fluid. So that YOU can change and be fluid.

Today, while working with Benoît and Tonja, I wondered, only half-jokingly, if this meant that I would not be able to have an orgasm while working on this project. Because to have an orgasm is often to close off certain sensations while concentrating on following one or a few to the end.

Benoît suggested that it was a whole bunch of little pleasures. A tantric experience.
All well and good, but as someone has said, sometimes life is too short for tantric sex.