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Over drinks recently, some friends and I pondered the question, “What is your urgency?” It’s huge. Its charge is enough to destabilize comfortable routines and amicable exchanges. We imagined the shock at suddenly trying to articulate this, and then we felt ourselves shocked, there and then, in our own attempts to do so.

What is your urgency?

In the days that have passed since then, I have decided that our urgencies, all of them, have this at their core: the future. What are we becoming? What ways to manoeuvre en route? Our urgencies are future-tense and transformative. They are ambitious and idealistic. In my case, the urgency is bound up with language, pedagogically inflected, politically concerned. To speak specifically feels strange, as if to name these projects simultaneously closes off the enterprise. My urgency, then, is nebulous; it’s shape continuously informed by resonance and failure. Today, it is momentum itself that is urgent, trying to find a way to harness it so as to breed effects outside of my small bedroom and its small windows. Today the urgency is charged space between myself and an imagined audience.

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2 thoughts on “

  1. JW says:

    speak for yourself! i think there is inherent folly in assuming, or rather, “deciding” that all people’s urgencies are motivated by the same thing [some sense of the future], and even more-so in assuming that all of us experience time in such a way that you could even understand; as to make your statement even vaguely accurate … future-tense may mean something specific to you, but transformation takes place in many different realms, not all of those realms are married to the western space/time idea whatsoever…

    • The idea that our urgencies are future-tense is a proposition. I am trying it on, seeing how it feels, and if I follow it through, then yes, I am committed to a Western idea of space-time. And on those grounds, I am having a hard time imagining an urgency that is not motivated by some potential future. Can you give an example otherwise?

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