Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bewilderment

Poetrymind has a long history of uncertainty as ground for creative expression.

Fanny Howe in "Bewilderment," THE WEDDING DRESS

"So it is with this language problem that bewilderment begins to form, for me, more than an attitude--but an actual approach, a way--to settle with the unresolvable.
In the dictionary, to bewilder is "to cause to lose one's sense of where one is."
The wilderness as metphor is in this case not evocative enough because causing a complete failure in the magnet, the compass, the scale, the stars, and the movement of the rivers is more catastrophic than getting lost in the woods.
Bewildeerment is an enchantment that follows a complete collapse of reference and reconcililability.
It breaks open the lock of dualism (it's this or that) and peers out into space (not this, not that)." (Howe 14)

I've thought a lot recently about dualistic thinking--US and THEM. Are there actual methods to deconstruct dualistic thinking, debunk, unseat its primacy? What are the political implications here? If "them" are "us" does our behavior change? How does language function in the making and unmaking of dualism? I'd like to explore some of these questions.


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1 comment:

  1. Jacqueline,
    You ask, " What are the political implications here? If "them" are "us" does our behavior change? How does language function in the making and unmaking of dualism?"I would love to have more insight into this myself. I am on the Board of Trustees at my Unitarian Universalist congregation in Northampton (MA), and I experience this difficulty when members of the congregation look at us the lay leaders as "them" . But "we are them" and "they are us", especially in the UU denomination.

    I also wonder about the function of culture in dualist thinking. And when you talk about wanting to explore some of these questions, is this related to your Capstone, your courses, all of the above, something else?

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