So I'm firing this blog back up because I'm bored with Facebook and I want to write some more, look some more, think out loud some more, share some more, and stare at my navel some more. Come along. :)
“If your community has no place for the difficult, maddening, awful,
irritating, frustrating people within it, the weak ones, the troubled
ones, the mentally ill, the physically ill, the demanding, the ones who
always bring up the same dumb point, the ones who make you want to
scream when they talk – if it has no place for the real, actual people
in it, we are failing. Community is community – it is all the people who
show up, all the people who are present, all the people who are simply
there – the ones you like, the ones you don’t like and all the ones in
between. If you find yourself casting them off because you are too busy
saving the world, you have to be reminded what, exactly, it is you are
— Sharon Astyk at Casaubon’s Book. Bathtubs: A Theory of Community Relations
Occasionally the child, too, is a pleasure,
though mostly she is a joy, which means in fact she gives us not much
pleasure at all, but rather that strange admixture of terror, pain, and
delight that I have come to recognize as joy, and now must find some way
to live with daily. This is a new problem. Until quite recently I had
known joy only five times in my life, perhaps six, and each time tried
to forget it soon after it happened, out of the fear that the memory of
it would dement and destroy everything else.
“Practicing educated hope is the enactment of a
critique function. It is not about announcing the way things ought to
be, but, instead, imagining what things could be. It is thinking beyond
the narrative of what stands for the world today by seeing it as not
enough. Concrete Utopianism is rooted in a kind of objective
possibility. This is the most generative moment in the utopian function.
Concrete Utopia is Bloch’s reformulation of Marx’s notion of praxis,
the unity of theory and practice. It is the goal of enacting a world,
the actual creation of that goal and the actual movement towards that
goal. The concept of docta spes (educated hope) is the intellectual and
material force that potentially produces concrete utopian thought. We
need hope to counter a climate of hopelessness that immobilizes us both
on the level of thought and transformative behaviors. None of this is to
say that hope is easy to find or never misleading or potentially
appropriated by reactionary agents and movements. Hope is a risk. But if
the point is to change the world we must risk hope.”
“Hope and hopelessness: A dialogue” - Lisa Duggan and Jose Esteban Munoz
Hello Friends. I will be taking an extended hiatus from this blog. I really appreciate the three of you who have been loyal readers. This thing has been through many changes through the years and now it's time for one more.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about ambition as I'm in process of starting up this part two of my professional career. The considerations around ambition have come up often, with no easy direction found. In my experience ambition is a complex thing, not all good, not all bad, but requiring careful negotiation, especially at this point in my career. So this piece from Emily Gould's memoir on free-floating ambition caught my attention. Because it's accurate, at least in my universe. What do I really want to do?
“Free-floating ambition is toxic because it means that anyone
who has accomplished anything in any realm of human endeavor is the
enemy because she might be your competition. So you hate everyone a
little bit, but behind this wall of hatred you still feel vulnerable.
And you are vulnerable, but not because of the competition. You’re
vulnerable because if anyone points you in anything that seems like a
direction, that’s where you’ll go.”
Positions...pre-exist the people that occupy them. - Rom Harre
I applied to the Taos/Tilburg Ph.D. program yesterday. It doesnt look like I will start till next fall (if accepted) but I am excited to start heading down that road. I'm also excited and grateful to report that John Winslade will serve as my advisor in the program. As part of this process it looks like I will be starting some writing projects around conflict resolution/conflict coaching, positioning theory, and of course narrative practice. That should keep me busy for a while. Not sure where all of these will lead but I am excited to find out.