Friday, September 11, 2009

I am here on Friday, September 11th, at my kitchen table in Oakland, thinking about how political imagining is. I am thinking about how political telling stories is, first to tell them at all, then, to tell the ones that could break us out into ways of seeing we were not meant to discover. I am thinking about what it takes to claim the imagination as a site of resistance. To own one's own imagination. To believe in the right to imagine as necessary as the right to food and shelter. Audre Lorde told us "...poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence." But even before the words, even before the feelings that stir in pre-cognition of themselves, there is a place, something like mangrove swamps, where what could be born is not there yet: the place of imagination. I am thinking about how I knew how to get there in the beginning, and then how it dried up, slowly, till there was no water left, only caked mud, hard, cracks running through it, estuary like. How there was no narrative there, no story, only a haunting of story, the rumor of story, the yearning. And then, trying to find my way back, to story, to the place of water and mud and roots growing up out of that watery place. How everything was connected, in the roots of that place: sex, God, bodies, love, fear, memory. How the watery place was impacted by the realities of patriarchy, colonialism, racism, capitalism; goliath structures that sucked the water out of the place and the roots that connected my body to everything else, the connections that generated seeds of story, struggled to grow, wasting. I am here thinking about what it means to re-water the swamp, feel the mangrove enlivening again, roots wetted swelling and growing new shoots. How this is resistance. How stories come from my body and without them I cannot survive.