work in process
STAYING WITH THE TROUBLE
- recent work of Donna Haraway (2017)
In urgent times, many of us are tempted to address trouble in terms of making an imagined future safe, of stopping something from happening that looms in the future, of clearing away the present and the past in order to make futures for coming generations. Staying with the trouble does not require such a relationship to times called the future. In fact, staying with the trouble requires learning to be truly present.
TROUBLE derives from a thirteenth-century French verb meaning “to stir up,” “to make cloudy,” “to disturb.” We—all of us on Terra—live in disturbing times, mixed-up times, troubling and turbid times. The task is to become capable, with each other in all of our bumptious kinds, of response. The task is to make kin in lines of inventive connection as a practice of learning to live and die well with each other in a thick present.
KIN is a wild category that all sorts of people do their best to domesticate. Making kin as oddkin rather than, or at least in addition to, godkin and genealogical and biogenetic family troubles important matters, like to whom one is actually responsible.
CHTHULUCENE a kind of timeplace for learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying in response-ability on a damaged earth.
CHTHONIC ONES beings of the earth, both ancient and up-to-the minute. I imagine chthonic ones as replete with tentacles, feelers, dig its, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair. Chthonic ones romp in multicritter humus but have no truck with sky-gazing Homo. Chthonic ones are monsters in the best sense; **they demonstrate and perform the material meaningfulness of earth processes and critters. Chthonic ones are not safe; they have no truck with ideologues; they belong to no one.
It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. (Haraway, Staying with the trouble, 2016, p. 12).