“i’m scared / i’m trusting
i’m contained / i’m in motion
we’re shook / we’re normal
we’re here / we’re gone
and time goes on”
-adrienne maree brown, “in the corona,” Fables and Spells
I’ve wondered a lot about the pressure of language to say “this,” or “that” — to put words together into a string so that (right now) I’m telling you about my language-wonders instead of about how, when I read brown’s poem, I sat resonating in the space of that / .
This pressure toward a linear understanding, it’s a habit of thought as well as a means of making. Text on a page, the convention of lines, maybe all that creates an “argument” where I’m making a “central point,” but I’ve also spent so much time learning to use words to make an argument. I’ve learned to think in an argument toward a single thought that’s “true.” And words — minds — also do other things.
How often do you feel a monolith, and how often a chorus in a rainstorm? How often do you think a kind of sluice, the water hemmed in on all sides and going where its directed, and how often do yu think waves washing on the shore, retreating back around the rocks, rising to wash again? For the last few years, my favorite metaphor for a certain type of thought is rain. Rain that patters down, that discovers by touching, that falls ecstatically over whatever’s there. That gathers into streams or seeps into the ground. Words to do that, too. So many of the words I have run off in many directions. So many of the words I mean themselves mean many things at once.
“i’m scared / i’m trusting”
i’m tired / i’m drifting like moonlight
here’s what brown taught me / i feel brown with me
saying time / with time inside what she says