"A long time ago in the Qing dynasty a young soldier fell in love with a handsome official and was sentenced to death for confessing his longing. When his spirit traveled to the Underworld, the soldier's crime was forgiven as one of passion and he was ordained The Rabbit God, the God of Secret Lovers. The God now travels through eternity answering prayers of forbidden love"
I've been haunted by the Rabbit God and didn't know it. Do yourself a favor, take 15 minutes and get yourself a little haunting too. What am I talking about? The Kiss of the Rabbit God. This short film by Andrew Thomas Huang haunts with forbidden love, modern grime, sacred wounds, sacred woundings, red vinyl, red blood, red hair, and one very sexy Rabbit God.
It put me in mind of Judith Butler who says:
"Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. [...] One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one's best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel."
The Waiter and the Rabbit God certainly undo each other in this film, and (without giving anything away) put me in mind of the sacredness of being undone by love, sex, wounds, and the healing of all three. Suffice it to say that the Waiter receives an accidental and meaningless wound early in the film and the Rabbit God elevates it to the level of transcendent union.
I know, I know. I'm taking things deep into overly-meaningful metaphorical terriorty but as a theologian that is my right. So here's what I was thinking as I was watching this film.
I'm thinking of another sacred wound; the gash in Christ's side that returned with him from beyond the grave and was the very thing by which his most bereft follower recognized him. 'Doubting' Thomas, in other words, recognized his beloved by the wounds he bore. And it's worth wondering why a being who could ressurect and transifgure into brilliant white light chose to do so with human wounds. Also, this short film is about blood and life and what goes into and comes out of our wounds. Not for the faint of heart. More later.
I'm thinking of the ways lovers wound each other, undo the wounds of others, heal their own wounds in sex with one another, and generally tend to the sacred woundedness of their beloved. In other words, I am thinking of the Magdalena. The sacred lover or Christ. The teacher to the teachers and the disciple to the disciples. What made her so? Her utter commitment to draw near to Christ in his most wounded; on the cross, in the tomb, anointing his broken bloody body. And for this tending of the wound, the lover of Christ was the first to see him resurrected. You could even say that she inaugurated all our resurrections and the good news that our wounds are not only what kill us, but ultimately what set us free.
I'm thinking of sex, of the way we enter into another, undo each other, and how queer people in particular have a way of transcending ordinary sexual union and elevating it to something transcendent. BIG CLAIMS, I KNOW. I hope to write more but just as a starting point I'm thinking of the (unfortunately still) transgressive perception of queer sex in modern American culture (vague, vague, vague. Each of these words is an essay. Bear with me.). And yet, the transgressive is transformative. When we have no choice but to be on the margins because that is where we're placed by society, we discover the margins are actually quite roomy, very raw, and very real. We encounter the realm of 'forbidden love' and discover just how liberative it can be. For reference; watch the Rabbit film if you haven't by this point in the blog, and then read anything in the four Gospels. You'll find nothing but society's outcasts transforming each other through illicit forbidden love into Gods who walk the Underworld liberating souls for union with God Herself.
What else, what else...ah yes! God is a slut! She shows up in Chinese armies enticing soldiers and commanders to desire each other in the midst of war. She shows up in impoverished marginalized communities and sets a banquet table for love for her favorite flamboyant wedding crasher, J.H. Christ. She shows up in a dingy Chinese restaurant and awakens a lowly waiter to his true destiny as one marked by love.
Watch the film. Tell me if it lights you up as much as it did me. And even if you're brain isn't filled with wholesome Christian thoughts like mine is all the time, I still wish for you transcendent sex, transformative love, transgressive desire, and liberating kisses with the Rabbit God. May we all be so deviant and blessed.
Ever been kissed by the Rabbit God? Ever had your wounds tended to by a Magdalena? Need someone you can talk to about a transcendent experience of sex/love/desire? Need someone to talk to about how to pursue and be pursued by a transcendent experience of sex/love/desire? I would love to hear what's on your mind and infuse your spiritual practice with a few sexual/sensual suggestions and vice versa. Sex and Spirit are the twin cores of the human soul and you deserve both fully alive. Watch this nifty little film, then book a one-hour Spiritual Support Session for Intimacy and Relationships. Can't wait to work with you!