Story, no story

from Trinh T. Minh-ha‘s Woman, Native, Other, with gratitude to Yukiyo Kawano, for showing me.


The story is older than my body, my mother’s, my grandmother’s. As old as my me, Old Spontaneous me, the world….

Never does one open the discussion by coming right to the heart of the matter. For the heart of the matter is always somewhere else than where it is supposed to be …. There is no catching, no pushing, no directing, no breaking through, no need for linear progression which gives the comforting illusion that one knows where one goes….

The story never stops beginning or ending. It appears headless and bottomless … Its (in)finitude subverts every notion of completeness … We–you and me, she and he, we and they–we differ in the content of the words, the construction and weaving of sentences but most of all, I feel, in the choices and mixing of utterances, the ethos, the tones, the paces, the cuts, the pauses. The story circulates like a gift; an empty gift which anybody can lay claim to … yet can never truly possess. A gift built on multiplicity. One that stays inexhaustible within its own limits. Its departures and arrivals. Its quietness.