Call and Response

I am reading a short story collection put out by the Bell Press. It is a collection of stories, and a companion response story. It is a familiar concept, but I guess I think of it in terms of a workshop exercise. That’s bizarre, considering my belief about what writing really is – communicating with the dead and the anticipated, as much as our peers. Readers, children, teachers. I figure it is all call and response – no matter how unconsciously we do it.

The Norwegian “taus kunnskap” doesn’t sound nearly as pretentious as “silent knowledge”. But there it is. The cultural history that you don’t know you know, that you carry with you as sure as the mitochondria in your cells. Like a fungus that began taking hold at your birth. We keep rediscovering our metaphors and our stories.

Nothing new here, really, though we crave it and celebrate the impostors. Maybe there is something here to think about: accepting the fact that we are nothing but sputtering mutations.

There are species that are linked physically to their progeny. An umbilical cord that remains through an overlapping of maturity. I guess we have culture for that. A weird evolutionary mechanism that lets us throw tantrums, leave the room, relish an illusion of independence.

So this little project now – a conscious response. An all-in, is-not-cheating or borrowing or posturing, participation in the bigger story.

3 Replies to “Call and Response”

  1. Being human is considerably bigger than we think it is. You’re right I’d think.

    Are ‘call and response’ threads? No matter what, we’re not alone.

      1. Well, thank you Ren, I’ve got some homework to do. My little mind went some-how-else other way with that phrase. More ‘native’ (tho that’s ambiguous to say). Gotta look some more. You do make me think in interesting ways (being polite).


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