“I wanted to learn to write, which was ultimately, still as my mother had taught me, a confrontation with my own innocence, my own rationalizations. Poetry was the processing of my own thoughts until the slag of justification fell away and I was left with the cold steel truths of life.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
I just added this quote to my about page. Despite being about as white as people come [what does that even mean? yet we use it, all the time, the “whitest white girl.” I suppose it means not particularly with it, living in a bubble.] , I feel a kinship to Coates in the restlessness of his mind, of realizing his place as a writer is to question, is to live in that space of restlessness rather than live in the Dream or any permutation of a dream.
There’s two separate thoughts here, both meaningful to me:
One is that writing is an investigation. I find that I rarely come to the page to say something, but rather to explore my own mind. In the process of setting down words, I discover new places of myself, I realize, I come to new understanding. Even when I sit down to record a particular thought, the passage of the thought from abstract space to physical space moves me into a new place, one I didn’t know before.
The second is just as I have posted above, that I believe the significant thing is to resist the dream and live in the question.
But here, look: the intention of this post was to talk about my mother, about realizing I do the same as her, which is present a certain agitated facade to the world. This facade is obnoxious, full of pretense and lies, and acted out with a speed and pitch of voice that are nothing if not exhausting. Why is that? Are we so ungroomed in speaking with others? Are we afraid of being real or do we simply not know how to be real?
I don’t know. I can’t continue on this thought today.
I had to skip Inauthentic II in order to get a particular thought through now. And we’ll see if I make it back to what i wanted to post or if it will get tumbled.