Thought for the day, Wednesday 17th August

“This is what it means to be entangled: it is to see that we are not complete, removed, or boundaried. We are not independent. To speak from a place of manicured morality, to attempt to stand outside the mess of it all, to try to be sincere, is to be blind to our rapturous entanglement with the multiple. A ‘flower’ doesn’t ‘begin’ at its roots and terminate abruptly at its petals; it is the ongoing intra-activity (notice I do not say ‘inter-activity’, for this would suggest that ‘things’ pre-exist relationships) of clouds, rain, sunlight, swirling dust, the keen attention of the gardener, and a cocktail of colourful critters and ecosystems of organisms. One might say that there are no ‘things’ at all. To come to the edge is thus to come to the curdling middle, where wild meets wild, where we meet the universe halfway in acknowledgement of our intra-dependence and co-emergence with ‘movements’ we cannot control or assuage.

Perhaps in situating his home at the edge of the village, the indigenous healer reminds himself and everyone else that we are not the central concern of an unspeakable universe. We are reminded of the ineffable, that words are not little epistemological mirrors that can reflect the state of things. We are part of the world’s ongoing complexity, yes, but not its prime movers, sole actors or longed-for apotheoses. As such, all the qualities we think of as unique to humans – thought, agency, will, intentionality, creativity, subjectivity – are performative qualities of a larger field in constant flux. Thus in order to really account for ourselves, in order to tell the stories of what is happening, we must come to the ends of ourselves, we must gravitate towards the edges in the middle…towards the incomprehensible, where wholly new ways of thinking are gestating in puddles of the forgotten.”

Bayo Akomolafe

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