It is possible to do great harm by doing nothing at all. Whether one does or does not do, a reaction is invited, and action builds upon reaction until a vast space is wound about with ropes of cause and effect, and all tracery back to the root is discursive ideology and the separation of one from the other, no arbitration occurs, no settlement, until finally the gordian knot is cut with some story of a sword and past present future all cease to matter. The arbitration of action works to slow down the inevitable progress of reactions, separating warring things, conjoined bits, in the hope of understanding better what the problem is, for does a wise man not say that the correct formulation of a problem is its solution, but the space of arbitration is a momentary space between jaws between hands between, and it does not last, until negation carries progress forward and all proceeds to nothing after all.
I wonder why our imaginary is so smitten by the game of domination and subordination. We do not seek Others like us, we seek the Masters everywhere and either choose to mimic them, and thence gain their approval, or openly serve them, and then gain their shadow. At home we do not seek coalition, cohesion, congenial communality, we are more interested in subjugating whom we can, including ourselves. Abroad we seek the insignia of those in power. In policy we are non-aligned, loyal to that which serves our interests. We are the success story of the Colonial Masters, the proud and loyal flock.
It is not she but the wind that keens, wandering, probing, unearthing, looking for things it has lost. Looking for the truth it dusts away the loose soil, all that is not tied down in the world, making canyons out of friendships and wind-pebbles out of dalliances. And finds that those other things are also gone–—love, close companionship, trust, faith in human nature, some justice perhaps. It grieves intensely for them. In summer it is lulled, diverted, tired. But come the winter it rises up in a madness of grief. And because these are not things it can ‘get over’ it remains in mourning. The loss of one thing, one life becomes prolonged, enlarged into the loss of much that is human, much that is natural. Its geography of sadness.
Scale is everything. It is possible to look at the catabolic processes of a cell and infer the sickness of the whole organism. It should also be possible to look at the same processes and infer the larger task of healing and reconstruction that the catabolism aids in. Some people are unable to see the two in tandem. And sometimes those who point out the catabolism too regularly are found to be negating of the laughter of the social.
We are none of us only made of laughter or of tears. To attribute only one marker to a person’s entire way of being should be only a placeholder for a larger game. As judgment it would be reductive, a destructuring of all the ‘what’s’ that make up a ‘who.’ Identity can be beneficially constructed as being less about ‘essence’ and more about actions, allegiances, how one speaks, what one does; taken as sole marker of an essential nature it can be unjust and partial.