A Diffracted Gentleness?

A Diffracted Gentleness, An Agential Mutation,
A Plurality of Worlds: A Thought Performance

You can feel the breath now lingering behind your ear, and so I ask you to read, to imagine yourself being read this, to hear it in a whisper, to hear the whisper of this text – to feel it on your neck or your back, the breath…



We have to start from the acknowledgment of a plurality of worlds, or worldviews, of worldly and world-making languages, of a world manipulated, owned, described, contained and exasperated by words, words that disallow entire worlds, entire cosmoses. We have to begin with the profound sympathy that there is no master narrative, no one way of knowing, being, thinking, sharing, singing, dancing, loving, – no! There are only ever always multiplicities. Multiple modes, multi-fantastic exchanges: Are ideas or relationships only real when one traces a line around them?

That things are messy and slimy and delicious and intoxicating, that things are troublesome and difficult: yes! As Tristan Tzara already noted so many years ago, »difference is what makes life interesting.«[1]

One might ponder: »But doesn’t this phase-space, this simultaneous multiplicitousness make the worlds, the words and their communications and understandings even more difficult to grasp?« …
Or, »is it the explicit attempt to make things seem easy not exactly what makes them actually and even more complicated and misunderstood?«



What happens when I use these words in this language from this background and impose it on some other world in the world, some totally other way of knowing and being? What gets omitted or occluded? Am I not extending a tremendous arrogance and obnoxiousness, shutting out vast beautiful possibilities? To assume there is only one absolute way – and to uphold and attack anything that swerves or differs from that narrow alley – this is one of the most toxic modes of imperialist existence readymade into our language and thought.

Scaling an entire cosmos into one language?! This is perhaps the most violent of practices. Why the insistence on impermeable rigidity? Do I not also have to be even more careful where I draw a boundary between this world and that world?

Porosity now!
Contingency Please!
No more impenetrable binaries!
Accountability for the Marks lashed by those feverish tongues!
And who said, »If I could write it I wouldn’t dance it«?



Oh! And how easy it is to be manipulated and to manipulate. How simple it is to declare individuality as the one true valuable path in life. The entire mode of value on a planet itself appropriated by a market system interested only in quantities and nihilism, etching and grinding it’s brutalized ideals into the bodies and their relationships, globally – a planetary phenomenon – right into the fundamental fabric of culture itself.

And yet now, so many bodies defecting from this generalized disease!
So many attuning to response-ability![2]
So many attunements flourishing!!

Defect! Defect!



There were times where words had properties unfathomable, magical, transcendent – you can hear it in a singer’s posture when the hair on the back of all the necks in the room are taught and upright – energies and forces reassembled and a togetherness pulsating in the overlapping atmospheres of being-with-together.


Will the passenger pigeons song, or the waddle of a once extinct penguin rejuvenate us?



Or the sound of a sleepwalker revealing some astral language only fully recounted in dreams.

Or the subtle ways a plant or stone might respond to your glossolalic well wishes.
Or the way every single thing or composition we have ever known or observed or measured or spoken seems to be a form of vibration of some sort or other. The perception or experience or phenomena of what we in this language refer to as vibration.



And what about the wise landscapes that howl in the wind and channel their energies out into the living lakes, or that fluoresce with lichen and leaf?!



»Tell me again about the many worlds?«
»The many possible words for one world should help explain it.«
»Or the dances?«
»Yes, also the dances.«



[1] Tzara, T. (1922). Lecture on Dada. The Dada Painters and Poets, Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press (1989), 248.

[2] See, Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press.