As promised in my last post, I’ve written up some more formal reflections on my experience this past week at the State of Formation executive committee conference in a new post titled, “Out-In-Etc: Being (Not Going) Back).”
The contrast of being on the move for almost 48 hours (between the conference and the speech* I mentioned) with sitting quietly in my apartment for most of this week has been a harrowing one. Call it typical ups-and-downs, but it can be tough to feel like you’ve finally started to move in the right direction only to return to your computer desk, eating 2/3 of the day’s meals in front of Twitter and Microsoft Word. However, that contrast sort of fits with the theme of the post–activism and dialogue is a revolving door. You can use it to bounce back and forth between the same worlds, and thus render yourself cross-eyed and inert, or, you can use it as a means towards constant regeneration. There can be new worlds at the end of each rotation, but it means taking the steps to live on the borders of tension and normativity, something thousands of Egyptian protesters are boldly doing right now.
So, an excerpt, and link to “Out-In-Etc“:
Over three years ago, when I walked into Hamilton-Smith Hall, Rm 101 for the first time, I was already sweating through my shirt. Sure, I was accepted into the same Master of Fine Arts in creative writing as the rest of the room, but clearly they were the genuine ones and I was just a clerical error.
During a growing discussion about writing, I felt ideas percolate in my brain, but I squashed each one with the notion that I didn’t belong. However, it seemed that every time someone added to the conversation, I found myself thinking: I was just thinking that! Feeling energized, I raised my hand just high enough to hide the moisture gathering under my arm, and before I knew it, I was a part of the discussion. People nodded along, wordlessly mouthing “yes, that’s right,” and even using my ideas as a stepping stone to the next one.
I’ve found them, I thought. My people. Read More
*I’m currently editing the audio and transcribing the speech. Expect to see/hear it here and at SoF soon!