It is quite likely that I got stuck at the dreamy 13-year-old writer phase; sometimes, when I’m writing, I can feel the self-conscious pretension in each word, each turn of phrase. (Like that.) I was a much better photographer, but the way the culture mindlessly bends itself to replicate photographic images drove me away. As a teacher, I’m too earnest, too idealistic. And, as an artist, my nonchalance masks (barely, I’m afraid) my unwillingness to risk being a total fool (calling things “experiments” is one way to avoid the consequences of taking seriously something that might otherwise be ridiculed).
But I genuinely think I’m good at something, and it isn’t something that’s done so much as it is a way of seeing. I can typically perceive the patterns and processes that shape networks of human relationships. I see now that I’ve spent the better portion of my life watching how and why we people do the things we do.
The most interesting thing I’ve come to understand — by far — is that, in this society, power is a matter of convincing someone else that they don’t have power at all. And by “interesting” I mean “depressing” and “disappointing”. The next most interesting thing I’ve come to understand is that, even when we recognize that we have some sort of agency, people can be thrown off by weirdly propagandized expectations around timelines and results. “Oh, it’ll take so long.” “You should have it now!”
These things / take time.
Possibility and diligence. Focus and discipline. And collaboration. How things get done.
The last thing I’ve come to understand is that not many people in this society believe that equality is possible or even entirely desirable. This isn’t interesting to me, however, it just makes me sad.