Writing Through Difference…impossible!

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….

About kathrynrickert

Possibly from watching the movie Bambie at the age of 6, I have had a life-long awareness that saying ONLY nice things, does not make the world just or kind. Thus, my 2009 doctoral dissertation..."Talking Back to God" , is one of the main aspects of the work I do. Always interdisciplinary, seeking connections across borders that are usually marked with DO NOT ENTER, I seek to pay attention, pray, think, create,and imagine using biblical laments, Christian worship texts, and the ordinary stuff of everyday life.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Writing Through Difference…impossible!

  1. I know how it feels to have no comments. It feels like speaking into a vacuum to me. Anyway, maybe the differences are sometimes not as huge as they appear on the surface. My Southern Baptist sister really liked what I wrote about Science, religion, and poetry – and that was unexpected until I remembered that she is Southern Baptist in about the same way that I am Catholic (which is pretty loose) and, after all, we were raised by the same parents. Keep it up and don’t lose hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s