(Please find both videos embedded below the excerpt.)
Excerpt from “Mai Men Dong Tang”
“The folks who are this formula, the Mai Men Dong — I mean, it’s Mai Men Dong Tang, we clearly must speak of this first. When all your words come back to you with ‘shades of mediocrity.’ Never good enough the never good enough. Nothing’s ever good enough. The person like that who says, ‘I need someone to comfort me.’ How likely? How likely that someone like that is going to be easy to comfort? They probably need exactly the sushi they ordered, and certain kind of sheets on the bed. This is not someone prone to comfort. That’s important. They probably have very high standards for what comfort actually means. And in fact, generally speaking, for Mai Men Dong Tang people, what they mean by ‘home’ may not even be their actual home, but a sort of idealization of their home, because it is certainly quite possible to feel that way in your own home, and yet feel like somehow this isn’t it, somehow this is not my home. And in fact to be feeling that kind of feeling and living that kind of mood wherever you go — is this my home? Is this really my home? I’m still not feeling like I’m home. It’s still cigarettes and magazines and, ‘Tonight I’ll play my songs again, and play the game of pretend,’ and still feel like I’m just passing through, and this isn’t it, because it’s not Heaven.
All of the Lung yin tonic herbs — the Mai Men Dong, the Sha Shen Glehnia, the Tian Hua, Tian Men Dong Asparagus Root — they’re really all about people looking for Heaven through something else. The Mai Men Dong, it’s more upper burner, in a lot of ways, and they’re looking for Heaven through beauty. The fashion industry is rife with Mai Men Dong. Aesthetics — there’s like an aesthetic need. I’m looking for Heaven through physical aesthetic structures. Sha Shen Glehnia is usually more — I’m looking for Heaven through food. It goes more directly to the middle burner, and there’s all kinds of oral fixations. Smoking in search of Heaven, nail biting in search of Heaven, chewing gum, biting things, overeating, some kind of mouth-Stomach compulsive behaviors in search of Heaven. And no sushi is that good, and no food is quite it. And then of course the Tian Men Dong taking it down into the lower jiao and so it’s searching for Heaven through sex. Manhattan — all those underwear ads that make you completely crazy, or at least could make one completely crazy because they’re like, ‘This is more than sex — this is actually God.’ [laughter] ‘Worship me,’ right? That’s really what they’re saying. ‘This is more than sex — this is perfection in underwear.’
And the search for perfection as something perpetually out there and unattainable, like the yang qi of Heaven that never quite actually makes it into my body, becomes this forlorn connecting to an ideal, connecting to what’s beautiful, connecting to what I love. I mean, I’m going to try saying some things that may come out inarticulate at first, because I’m voicing something that I’m only just understanding — which is that, I miss my son and my husband terribly much, but if I’m completely honest, it’s my idealization of my son and my husband that I miss. Don’t tell! You know what I mean though? There’s this like, ‘Ahh, my son, ohh, my sweet [husband],’ and it’s their silver, glittery stuff that I’m missing. I mean, I love them, this is not a made-up relationship, but the part that I’m missing is the yang qi of Heaven of them.”