[NB] Difference and Thundering Chaos

“Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of difference strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters.

Within the interdependence of mutual (nondominant) differences lies that security which enables us to descend into the chaos of knowledge and return with true visions of our future, along with the concomitant power to effect those changes which can bring that future into being. Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.”—Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”

There are a number of things going on here that I like. Lorde gets the fundamental dimension of worldly experience, of its immersion in diversity, and I have always been a little leery of how her work has been taken by folks talking about ‘intersectionality.’ I appreciate the aims of intersectionality, but it always feels like it is trying to enforce charters on the world and act as if those charters are ‘really there.’ Lorde, here? Is bold and charges out into the scene.

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