[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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Stars Unfallen

I have talked about this before, but it is worth saying in the open, away from the shelter of close reading. There is more than one (or three) way(s) to experience the intersection (and disjuntion) of heavenly and earthly forces, of spiritual and everyday life, but if I had to provide a seed phrase for my approach and my sense of things it would be:

The pact with the earth is made in the sky.

With the realization that:

The earth is a portion of the sky.

And the whole of it is in motion.

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A Vision: Intimacy versus Secrecy

The history of civilization is a river on whose waters soldiers and politicians are fighting and shedding ballots and blood; but on the banks of the river, people are raising children, building homes, making scientific inventions, puzzling about the universe, writing music and literature.–Will Durant

One of the charms of W. B. Yeats’s first effort to publish A Vision is its framing narrative, a work of fiction equal to the magical realists who would follow after him. The origin of that frame, though, derives from an injunction imparted by the spirits that the work as a whole was to remain secret. While George herself was opposed to the publication in general, the spirits made some allowances.

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Dumezil and the Promise of Tradition

I first read Dumezil’s Mitra-Varuna in the Spring of 2008. It was a chaotic period for me and I only took from it some broad but intelligible points. A few weeks ago, a copy of the book made its way to me and I have been chewing slowly through it, taking more time with each subsection. It doesn’t hurt that most of those subsections are only a couple of pages in length, perfect bathroom reading (Hey, I’m not made of time–I take my reading where I can).

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