andalus: (Default)
How do you marry the personal and the political? has been the question on my mind. "Personal" being interior, imaginative, literary. ("Marry," already a sexualized term, gendered notions of active and passive coming together in one dis-easy union. Already there's a suggestion that these binaries are fabrications, and their differences and promised unity are fabrications.)

But "the personal is the political" is unsatisfying. The exterior is not the interior. The social is not the imagination, and all poetry is in the imagination: the imaginary present (which may contain imaginary futures), not the Real past and the Real future. The political is the relations between humans in the past; the personal is the imaginative relations of these internalized relations in a present. We are in the world, we draw the map, we understand the world through the map because that is what/where we are. To change the world you must capture the world's imagination, capture its Present, in the moment of its present-ing. To change the map of imagination as its being written, and so alter the Real future. So works of the imagination are powerful in certain moments. The work of imagination is not a lash, it cannot force; it entices, draws you in to certain illusions, which add themselves to your self.

In other words, the work is an opinion, in that it holds sway, that it is designed to change minds. But it is also not an opinion, the simple "You should wear red shoes," because: a) there is no person, or unity, or self, on the power end of the opinion (the author is as much a subject as the reader) and b) the work is not a directive but an experience. It becomes part of one's past, not one's future. We remember the red shoes worn and, if we identify with the shoe-wearer, think of red shoes as something to wear in the future. We have incorporated the knowledge and the experience of the work into our lives, and our selves can and will be colored by it.

***

There are leaves and I walk through them. It's been warm for November and I've taken to wearing a coat and a t-shirt, enough room for the wind around me.

***

Political wrongs must be fought. But personal wrongs cannot be fought. The field of imagination is an eternal field; if you struggle in a story you are struggling forever. As in psychology, things must be understood first and moved past second. To fight in the story or the mind or the dream is to never hope to triumph.

March 2017

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