Because I am convinced–I have convinced myself or been convinced somehow–that I think through writing, I have found the past few months difficult as the kind of thinking in which I have been engaged, and am still engaged, has demanded a suspension of writing, at least writing in this space. I do not yet have the talent to write about my teaching without, in some way, compromising its process, even though that process is always itself in process. How does one talk about the experiment of the lecture and the discussion, the formal similarities (the same room, same time, seemingly same format) that are always experiments in how to inhabit space and time and knowledge? This I don’t yet have, and the gap between experience and articulation leaves me caught between stutters–that gap that might be called silence, or someone else’s discomfort, perhaps my own.
I have been reluctant, as well, to own an “I” whose pasts of belonging might require a present (presence) of speech. Here, a studied, chosen reluctance to discuss homophobia in East Africa, precisely at a moment when, as a friend tells me, some advances might be made. Is this the silence of the defrocked priest or the mute lay? How does one write silence against white space.
I am, I suppose, in search of better metaphors, different strategies for unknotting ties that I can barely see, and, at times, can only imagine.