Each of the feelings explored in the following chapters […] can thus be thought of as a mediation between the aesthetic and the political in a nontrivial way. As a whole, the book approaches emotions as unusually knotted or condensed ‘interpretations of predicaments’ – that is, signs that not only render visible different registers of problem (formal, ideological, sociohistorical) but conjoin these problems in a distinctive manner. My exclusive focus, however, is on the negative affects that read the predicaments posed by a general state of obstructed agency with respect to other actors or to the social as such – a dilemma I take as charged with political meaning regardless of whether the obstruction is actual or fantasized, or whether the agency obstructed is individual or collective.
The archetype of the witch is long overdue for celebration. Daughters, mothers, queens, virgins, wives, et al. derive meaning from their relation to another person. Witches, on the other hand, have power on their own terms. They have agency. They create. They praise. They commune with nature/ Spirit/God/dess/Choose-your-own-semantics, freely, and free of any mediator. But most importantly: they make things happen. The best definition of magic I’ve been able to come up with is “symbolic action with intent" — “action" being the operative word. Witches are midwives to metamorphosis. They are magical women, and they, quite literally, change the world.
!!! this why i am always proclaiming my wretchedness and wickedness and witchiness
(via flamingshoe) So my dad is a fundo Christian, very Herero, very monog and yet when I was little he was obsessed with giving me witch books and toys because witches are women who have their own power and he wanted to absorb that. (via feministfunpolice)
most women accused of witchcraft during the hunts in Europe didn’t identify as witches and were probably as Christian as anyone else in town (which wasn’t always that much — stereotypes about medieval Christian rigor are pretty far off the mark)
these were mostly women who made an independent living from their work as healers/midwives and had usually pissed someone off in some way (often by having nice things, because a convicted witch’s property was forfeit) but the evidence was often that they used roots and herbs in some fashion
women in medieval Europe were the keepers of herb lore handed down from the pagan days, which included medicines that actually worked for humans and livestock — of course a lot of them also had charms and such that didn’t really work but if you look at the kind of things male medical practitioners were up to at the time they were pretty far ahead of the game in some respects
so even if you don’t believe in witchcraft per se it’s worth remembering that women who history remembers as witches were people with a lot of useful knowledge/ability and (when there wasn’t a panic going on) some degree of social position/power
I would like my life to not be divided into before & after we met. I started writing this a few days ago. That is how I started. Trying to show you how I understood what is happening. How I am orienting myself to this moment of trauma. Trying to show you that it is not that I don’t understand but that I can’t. A few days ago I meant to suggest that as a weakness, my own, but that would have been insincere. I’m glad I stopped writing. I mean that would be wrong. To orient myself to anything else I mean. I mean that would not be to our benefit. We must destroy everything. That means us. The relations that make us who we are. I am more than what I can do for you. I have needs that have nothing to do with you. I can leave you. It’s tempting to leave it at that. If this seems like a lot of work, you should see the other guy. I slip in & out of explanations for why this is happening & how I feel about it. I like where this is going. How I’ve changed. How I’ve changed out of necessity. How in relation to you I am so small that I am never alone. I wanted to forget that a few days ago. You did, too.
The fear of encountering trauma can be debilitating, leading itself to the assumption that political movements cannot incorporate affect or conflict, or that the negotiation of affective life within public cultures is not important work.
The you you talk to
when you’ve been
waiting to hear
from someone who’s
sick or in jail or missing
someone you’ve been
worried about, a
unreachable you, the
you between you
one of many there
with them, a you
that makes sense of
"love to all of you"