I rarely, if ever, get entangled in sharing my thoughts about the goings-on of the world around us, especially the political-cultural upheavals, swells, and movements. This is not out of lack of caring or disinterest, it is instead out of my feeling of impotency.
Because of this, I frequently find myself thinking about the concept of agency, where is it and how does one embody/enact it? Keeping these questions in mind, and with relation to our contemporaneous times, where is our true agency located? Is it in our daily routine? Our little rituals? In the validation of our repetitive jobs? Consequently, how do we employ/enact our agency in the age of sanitation, and control, and emphatic order?
Take death for example, it is something apart, other, mostly ignored until it is impossible to do so, and in most cases dealt with in a sanitized setting under the controlled environment of hospital rooms, funeral homes and gated cemeteries. Furthermore, we generally shun speaking of death, of its inevitability, of its pervasive role in our daily lives. We do not search nor kill our own food, it is instead neatly arranged for us to purchase and consume. We strive for perfectly manicured, weed-free lawns. We arrange our lives within an encasement of control and order, keeping away what does not fit neatly into this given pattern. Everything is done and ordered for us. In the same vein, we see our political manifestations and struggles against the system subjected to the same sanitized formulations. I think about this often as I am aware of my impotence. As I look on at the political, environmental, and human rights struggles, I cannot help but wonder about our own agency. Does it lie in our community protests/marches? Does it lie in our involvement in cyber forums or in activist groups? How does one produce change within a rigid system? I say all this out of my own musings, not out of an expectancy for an answer. I hold a few particular views on power and violence and change.
Following this trail, I can’t help but think of Oedipa Maas’s plight as she delves deeper and deeper into the Trystero enigma in The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon. Wherein she looses her grounding, her sense of self and context as what she unveils in her quest as executrix is a myriad reality, a labyrinth of possibilities and truths or lies, with no stable footing in sight. The quest of the self, and the construction of self in a world of multiplicity. Again I ask, as Oedipa never completes her quest, where does the revolution, the agency and power lie in our lives?
As I sat in bed the other night thinking about these things and shuffling the cards, I decided to ask.
What does genuine revolution (embodied agency) look like outside the paradigm of consumerism, approval ratings, order and protocol?
Where the blood boils and explodes, expelling the ghosts of our constructed realities, toppling the lid off our carefully elaborated selves, our self-prescribed fables null, here the power of the one who orchestrates and creates lies. True revolution lies within this cataclysmic shift of transformation, in the spilling outward of the inner. In the dethronement of constructs and symbols. Therefore, genuine agency/action lies in the liminal space between being and not being.
There is an element here of dichotomy, of a glaring awareness of things that are as well as of the potential of things that are not. Clearly, agency lies in our daily enactments, our routine constructions of self in the face of society, culture, and state. I certainly don’t intend to cause any disruption in the traditional flow of things, if there is any purpose to these musings whatsoever, it is merely to get the mental wheels turning as I examine my life, my agency, my actions. As I seek to re-enchant my world and my perspective, I examine all the tangents and routes of my self within this monolithic architecture of reality. This is my self looking at my self as I see the swells of society around me. If anything is meant by this monologue, it is to inspire an exploration of self within and without cultural formulations. Also, I don’t intend to cover the gamut of complexity that are these interconnected yet varied topics that plague us in these modern times.
I thoroughly enjoy reading the cards for all questions, and this was no exception. When I read the cards I don’t look for symbols of power, nor authority. I don’t search for conjured meanings nor intangible concepts. I look at the narrative, the story within the context. I look for the poetry of the images, the tensions, the movements, the swells and transitions. As I read this string of cards, I looked for the narrative of the answer inherent in my question. Evidently, the cards, in whatever shape or color they come, always point to the answers.