Relational Context

Greetings, to you and your web of relationships. My name is Shante' (she/her). I live in Mni Sota Makoce on the traditional homelands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples. My ancestors come from England, German, Sweden, and Romania and Ukraine...the most recent Jewish ancestors on my biological father's side came to Turtle Island 3-4 generations ago, some of the ancestors on my mothers side were immigrants who came in the 1800s, but the largest majority of my maternal ancestors were early colonists who came to new england in the 1600s.

I am practicing from an entangled ecosystem of animist perception that interweaves the root systems of teachers and collaborators with my own taproot of ancestral knowings. What I speak is a harmonic transmutation of many voices, including Larissa Kaul, Dare Sohei, Liz Koch, Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Deb Dana, and Sarah Peyton. Other influential beings in my unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh and Wabasha on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce.


I am tracking that depth of my settler-colonist kin's developmental dissociation from body and earth, the threshold point of contact with the wider ecosystem that for my kin remains blocked by an ancestral abandonment-pain-body originating in the loss of animist relational practices that wove us into secure attachment with more-than-human life.


This rupture has resulted in the ravenous trauma vortexes that accumulate in the liminal when a body is unable to access a felt sense of support and so the life force contracts because the pain is too much to be felt without accompaniment. I witness the ways in which this pattern is a developmental wounding, closing the system into a threat response of isolated self-consciousness, cutting off the flow of energy between body and ground. I see how this developmental wounding results in dissociation from the sensate spirits of erotic-aliveness and death-surrender, perpetuating existential terror of right-sized sovereignty and intimacy, and structuring mass society through domination ideologies deployed to control the chronic threat response of isolation. 

I carry the bone-deep knowing that this ancestral pain-body can be met through a practice of re-membering relationship to a distributed network of animist somatic support that opens the organism into connection with the felt sense of Original Belonging and Creative Response-ability within relationship.