Merchants of Doubt

March 3 | Kisoga, Mukono District

Each pillow that has welcomed me has had an impact on both the physical structure and the hypothetical construct that rest upon it - my brain, and my mind. I continue to move from different rooms, towards different wonders.

Writing my intimate thoughts for others is not really something I prefer - there is so much of the context that is missed, and I feel strongly that each string of words I pair is reducing the moment to a lifeless anecdote. It just happened. I like conversation, in real-time, in the middle of everything, about everything.

If we were talking now, you would hear the soundbites from the local evening news coming from the guard’s unit blend in and out of our exchange.

If we were talking now, you would speak with a softened breath so as to not disrupt the breeze that has entered our sacred space.

If we were talking now, you would know that I had a small mountain of green bananas and avocados for lunch.

If we were talking now, you would know that I have no interest in the time.

Banana and Vocado

I am writing, however, to share an ounce of my perspective and hope that it resonates or inspires. I have no real expectations for the work I put forth — the good that comes is from a body that expands beyond our individual being.

I used to get in trouble in school for writing too much, or for writing stories that were too long. My favorite teacher would allow me to use the lunch period to finish my stories, so that I could turn them in at least before the current grading period ended. I finished the story as best as I could —a deadline with a grading rubric did not offer enough time, or space, for me.

She was dismissed the following year for allowing us to read a novel that was too mature. At our elementary school graduation ceremony she introduced my best friend Morgan and myself by quoting the sign at the entrance of her classroom. It was a small wooden plank with the phrase, Expect the Unexpected.

In graduate school I received an A on a term paper about Latina Women Incarcerated for Non-Violent Offenses in California. My professor told me it was excellent, that she loved it, that she was curious if I was running for president, that it was so comprehensive, that my writing is akin to that of Faulkner, but that my paper was not technical enough for the field. Oops?

I am writing to finish the many short stories that I started and the many stories that I abandoned. I am writing to manifest all the ideas that satisfy a rubric that does not exist. I am writing to re-connect with the live pathways I once knew. No amount of pressure is capable of extracting that life force from me. I see now that the best of my mind, no matter how polished, may not be suited for print. Taking on more fluidity than a conventional publication can contain, requiring a breath to accompany the details — these forms require conversation, action and living systems.

“…Above all else the free mind was viewed as the highest achievement of intellectual authority…”