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[Xmca-l] Re: Thirdness and its various versions



everyone, when Mike wrote:

"I am guessing that from a CHAT point of view (I am making this up as I go
along), every time we choose a word to speak or a tool to fix our car with,
we must submit to the specialized constraints of using that particular
means of achieving the end-in-mind."

i thought to myself about how every context we find ourselves in, we have to learn "the specialized constraints of using that particular means" - which is often what we label as "education" or "learning".  we learn how to be an alcoholic at AA - just as we learn how to participate on this xmca list serve - with a particular submission to mastering the vocabulary, the sentence length, the response and call genre;  all attended to by gentle or not so gentle critiques or supports, not to mention silence or shunning.

the old lady discarded the cane with its attendant cultural signs - feeble, decrepitude, weak, fragile, etc. for the staff, a cultural sign of the shepherd, Gandolf the powerful sage, Merlin the wizard, the crone, the pilgrim, the searcher, the leader.  a staff can also be used as a cudgel, as well as in the 23rd psalm, a source of comfort. (and isn't it interesting that we've no mythological female figures with a staff?)

so, while Mike wrote that "she subordinated herself to the conditions of using a large staff instead of a handy cane", i'd like to suggest that she refused to subordinate herself of the conditions of using a cane, rejecting the cultural constraints of a cane, for the more powerful constraints of the staff - thereby transforming how she was seen.

her refusal to submit to the identity associated with the cane provided space - a third space perhaps - to avoid the oppression of ageism, and take up the identity of the wise elder wielding the staff of inner strength and wisdom.

phillip