This practice of writing and sharing the writing with other people is a form of exercise; an exercise in trying to connect the stuff of my head and heart with other heads and hearts in a way that survives the differences between us.
In more than a few of the venues for my life — probably ALL of them–; there are sagas of disconnection where so and so can’t be in the same room with so and so for some unmentioned yet very strong reason. I admit to turning off the radio when certain voices and even certain tones of voice, i.e. the ones I don’t want to hear, are there. So, I am wondering if it is even possible to try to learn how to listen, write, speak and read through the differences.
Why I keep on trying to do what most normal people can esaily see is impossible, I do not know. I do know that it is not because I think that I have any ability or skill that is greater than any one else’s. If the questions would go away, then perhaps I would stop chewing on them. Until that happens I will continue to see if I can write my way toward even a glimmer of an understanding.
Why would we want to do this? crossing differences so that all of the difference remains, yet not as an obstacle but more like a bond. It is more comfortable not to have to deal with sounds, ideas and people who distress me. Surely, everyone must have some such list of people, ideas, perspectives, food, music, colors, sounds, that are unwelcome to their ears. mouth, eyes, etc.? Or does everyone do this?
I do not play in the kinds of public arenas where harsh, insulting discourse is familiar or at home. I don’t watch TV, or listen to talk radio. I hear only a rather narrow band of ideas, i.e. mostly those with which I agree and am comfortable. When the other kinds show up, which is extremely rare, I find some means of escape.
And when new ideas, or ideas that challenge or don’t fit into any of my usual categories show up– I literally don’t know where to put them or what to do with them– then I am slowed down and caused to chew for a while.
My observation yesterday was of a tryptic: one group looking upon the world as being they way it “should be”, without noticing more than a glaring bit of injustice and innocent suffering. Another group, or possibly the same people, but on another day, had a less clear-cut view of things, with some sense that there is BOTH justice and injustice going on here and there, but the reasons for the differences not so clear. And then another group, or maybe the same people on yet another day and in another setting, saw only injustice and innocent suffering and nothing else.
So I have been wondering for several weeks now if there is any way at all to write, think, hear, read, speak across difference so as to actually arrive at the other side without doing damage to myself , to the other, or the differences. And here these differences are very clear — race, gender, ethnicity, physicality, nationally, economic level, political pov, education, personality type, religion, cultural context, experience, age….