Junot Diaz on cheating and love in This Is How You Lose Her
Part of the contemplative process of reading for my field exam has been the constant resituating that I’ve been forced to do by my reading, by my shifting state of being as I read. My intellectual formation up to this point has certainly produced certain paralytic habits of thinking and writing. My advisor has always encouraged a “freeing” up of intellectual inquiry — papers that move or are a series of movements rather than those that collect or sink with too much gravity. Yet, a disability approach would beg me to reconsider this “paralysis” as itself a form of regulatory “diagnosis” by the academy in its belief that scholars are never quite “able” enough. As such, there is a politics in choosing to be here, in taking up space as a differently abled body, in letting the fog settle over where the light of rationality should be most poignant.
But I massage Diaz’s belief in intuition carefully in my hand. What do I do with this long-running embodied feeling that I am indeed “choosing paralysis” with my life choices, especially so early in my life? To put it in Mom’s words: you always have a choice. But I think it is better put as I have always had the privilege of a choice, and I have come to a point in my life where I am deeply aware of the consequences of carelessly abusing that privilege.
I can fly from here, and I have thought many times of doing so. But can you not fly from one field of stasis to another? Can you not carry its (potentially unwanted) residues elsewhere? If you begin to contort your body and mind into certain orientations, do they not remember them?(via tchilau)
I think a lot about what I would say to the younger version of myself if I met her again, if I met her through the still moments of all the motion of youth — when she was sitting at the piano, or if I saw her alone on the playground, or if I watched her read, voice quivering, her short stories in…