What if relationships are the primary ordering principle?
What if the way relationships are ordered
clarify, explain, and instruct us on the way things
stand towards each other?
If connectivities are performatives, then the grammar
of the relationship determines its patterns.
We meet at the edge of the text. These words unfold through the syntax of your absent presence in the writing.
Those of whom I speak are embedded in grammars too. While we are a syntax and lexicon of unique verbal patterns, we are still bound by the rules of a grammar which shapes our relationships.
In her radical pedagogy, the woman who teaches says: "What we must never do:
• Patronise, reduce, laud, ridicule, dismay
• Simplify, bowdlerise, censure, censor
• Wield discourse as spectacle
• Wield discourse as power
• Wield discourse contemptuously"
And, I would add, silence each other.
We silence the other in the ways that she says, we humiliate them, and finally by ignoring them. Ignoring them, we remove their voice.
If we refuse to listen, they cannot speak.
If they speak they will not be heard.
We have created a hole in the grammar of our connection
which divests the speaker we did not want to listen to
of a speaking voice that is heard.
I know, Monsieur: it happened to me. My words formed an uncomfortable anomaly in the grammar of the group. Without an anxiety about the rigors of practice, I was not struggling in the way I was meant to. Given the nature of the self beliefs of the group, I could not be overtly ridiculed; eventually, I was skipped over, ignored. The member who became absent though present. Silence was wielded as a contemptuous power by those who formed an inner circle and who felt there was no other way to deal with me, and carefully, so my diminishing welcome would not be evident to the others. What happened Monsieur? I went into exile.