Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taylor Sparrow: Thinking More Than The State Allows -- Radical Politics In These Troublingly Quiet Times

Thinking More Than The State Allows: Radical Politics In These Troublingly Quiet Times
by Taylor Sparrow
People of Color Organize!

What is in a life?
How can a life be understood, as you continue to make meaning along the way?

Stories. Hints. Scraps.
Little bits of evidence that lead in possible directions.

Our lives are made up of all the choices that we make, or do not make. Choices made visible, but not chosen. Choices made, but not understood, or not re-evaluated later, or regretted and carried like a weight.

The work of studying history is – whatever else historians might claim — quite simply the study of human choices. We learn from other people’s life choices so that we can choose how to live.

Our lives are quite messy, and perhaps even more so if we are living in opposition to an established order, against armies and ideas that try and constrain us. We do not really live our lives ‘in order,’ so the attempt to make a clean chronology from the outside is futile and pointless. We live our lives more in the form of a collage — or multiple collages layered on top of each other — rather than in a simple linear progression from birth to death. We are constantly connected to ideas and people and places and memories and dreams and plans, in an endless web that has a coherent logic only if enough of the connecting threads are visible at once.

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