Happy New Year, beauties.
Sitting with questions is mad uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking a lot about questions, and the importance of narrowing them down, honing in on what they are. Because the answers are almost always contained within the question. And if you’re asking the wrong–or a dishonest or too large–question, you’re likely to go searching down a lot of the wrong roads. We are taught that questions and answers are a matched set. There is a discomfort–something almost shameful–about not knowing. We should all be doing THE thing that will help us achieve THE goal–personally and professionally. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about those things, obviously. One has to have goals. But there are so many variables. Those questions are continually expanding.
I’m interested in the questions that are much smaller and less tangible and I don’t give a shit if they help to answer the larger ones. But I bet they will. And I guess by saying that I’m kind of confessing that I do give a shit. Whatever, did the Internet send you here to trap me with my own words? No. You came here so I could tell you what to write. Or maybe you came here because you’re a creeper. I don’t know. But even if you are a creeper (maybe especially if you are a creeper) you should write. Everyone should.
So the assignment, my loves, is to write some questions. 12 to be precise. For yourself. Be specific, ask unanswerable questions. Then try to answer them. This is a Bhanu Kapil prompt. This is a Mahogany L. Browne prompt. But most importantly, this is a YOU prompt. Because guess who’s going to answer them? That’s right…you. Take your time. That’s what it’s about.
Here are mine:
Where were you the morning you woke?
What would you tell yourself if you would listen?
What are the words you will not say?
What is the first sentence of your story?
What was in your hands when you realized they were empty?
What do your tears taste like?
What is it that holds your tongue?
How will you loosen the ties?
Where are the monsters hiding?
Who do you wish you had never met?
How will your hands be remembered by your children?
What is the sorrow that wakes you in the night?
What would your mother’s voice sound like if you couldn’t understand her words?