This storytelling imperative has become a cliché in advertising. From cars to throw pillows to the credit cards you buy them with, a wide range of consumer products now claims that it will help you to tell and/or become a part of your “unique story.”
Kate Schapira is a Providence-based poet, essayist, teacher, and activist, whose ongoing Climate Anxiety Counseling project is a thing of rhizomic, open-bracketed beauty, the subtle complexity of which half eludes and completely captivates me.
We think of our sensory equipment as separate from that which it apprehends, that our eyes and ears passively convey particulars of the world to our brains. But seer and seen are not separate—looking at a gamma ray burst would detach your retinas.
It might be the case that either our understanding of the brain or our grasp of the cosmos recapitulates the other, and it’s language that pushes us further into both—if we can bend, torque, and look behind it for what it’s concealing, we might discover how it’s holding us
The writing that most often attracts me enacts this same unavailing need to see from the inside and outside of everything at once. Poet and playwright Darcie Dennigan’s work evinces this scale problem perfectly.
If language is engine as well as imprint of human cognition, then does its resistance to change hold us back? Or does our inability to assimilate big notions of quantum mechanics and theoretical physics prevent their naturalization, holding them open for seeing and questioning?