That is because we are produced by the manifold, by the collective, so that to squeeze the significance of one’s life into the container of its biological duration is to lose sight of the ways death is generative and prolific – and even useful for continuity. It is to centre the human in the very middle of a cosmic saga, all the while forgetting that the human is ecstatically mediated by, and dependent upon, and threaded through with, the nonhuman. It is to relinquish our accountability to our ancestors, who often need healing and continue to produce effects. Our bodies are long bodies, wide bodies, spread out, queering space and time; your failure, your confusion, might well be the nourished soil that coaxes out new possibilities from the earth; our work is long, unusual and always yet to be fully disclosed. The anorexic confines of traditional activisms cannot understand this or appreciate why many now feel invited to lean on the fences of conventional, intelligible action – even if it means being branded mad.
Your life’s work is an intergenerational project, an ancestral conspiracy, a continuous meeting of bodies, a queering of temporality. Your life is not yours to resolve, yours to complete, or yours to contain. You will not finally be decolonized; you will not finally be enlightened; you will not finally be ‘good’ – no matter how conscientious, aware, ‘woke’ or alive you are. It is because your life is necessarily the life of the many – blessed with shadows, inner workings, sedimentation, ruptures, departures, arrivals, and frayed edges. Be thankful for the threadbare places of your life, for it gives the many who are yet to come something to stitch theirs with.