Life is trying. Trying to be first, trying to push opinions, answers and consequences. And today it feels like life is Himalayan in its unruly messiness. The scorching upcoming confirmation of Kavanaugh to a seat on the United States highest court of justice. The ashes of women betrayed in every conversation and community space. There is no container whose capacity this does not overrun, outstrip, overwhelm or saturate. There is not yet a safe space for the collective grieving that will with certainty be followed by a resurgence of focused fighting. But first there must be a space for the salve of healing, the presence of a miniscule film of protection from the betrayal. By our representatives, by elected leaders, by our country, by our men.

This tumbleweed of thoughts collects with me in the Volvo as I drive toward the Korean Womens Spa’s offering of water and mineral laced sitting rooms. The quiet, naked women beside me pouring, warmer than hot, mug wort waters onto their shoulders, breasts and strong backs. The herbal tonic of the ancestral healers washing our collective skin into a period of balance.

Bodies as luminous stars from a diaspora of galaxies. Women draped in a continuum of colors from their DNA and from their inked bodies dunking in the pools of roasting water.

“Shhhhh quiet here,” someone’s giggle at each other. Posted signs display an Asian woman drawn in cartoon style, finger on her lips, eyes slightly clenched. On this day, this sign speaks mortifying volumes about the demise of our voices. And here, in pink and white striped bathing caps, standing, siting, walking, sleeping we are silencing ourselves. We are poised in a moment of self-determined healing, in the waters of our community.

The spa was laden with women today processing or constructing the metamorphosis.

Of our fear.

Of our rage.

Of our focus.