Thursday, May 23, 2019
The Making of Intimate Affinities
FMS#370 || Faridabad-NCR || April 2019
Today was amazing. Talked a full 54 minutes on the phone.
How come you managed that kind of time in duty hours?
There’s been a salary delay. So we all decided not to appear for work. A few hours, and we’re getting messages that salary is ready for disbursal tomorrow.
So simple. No tension. Enjoying the luxury of hour-long conversations. Is this for real?
Dost, I am now 24-years-old. Have been working for about eight years. The most effective acts are those which are made in a collective way with the expansive elasticity of freedom. This much I’ve understood. Like todays’ decision of not going to work. The salary delay was going on for a week. Will give half. Half later. Very irritating. So we all decided to withdraw for a day.
Now! When did this step become so simple! Word spreads between 1500 co-workers, a decision gets made, and acted on. And all this within a shift change? Remarkable.
This is no surprise. It’s common. We’ve done this many times. Ask any worker from any factory. It could be a 100-worker workplace or a 15,000-worker workplace. I bet that rare would be a worker who has not been part of at least one such moment. Rather, many times will be the norm. One can keep thinking the why’s and how’s of this, but no one can deny that it happens.
But you are also saying that this step is without tension. Rather, that it is with degrees of freedom. Are you saying that underlying this is a shared understanding of precise effects through minimum effort?
Listening to all of you it strikes me that these steps bear a deep impulse — an impulse of commoning and the making of intimate affinities.
We sense it most in moments such as these. That’s why when you talked to your friend on the phone, you listened. Didn’t interrupt. Weren’t restless to have your own advice heard. This capacity is drawn from the commons of intimate affinities.
Yes, the conversation went very well. She shared the upswings and downswings of the last five years — her decisions, her promises, her doubts, her resolves. Yes, true, I did listen with care and patience. If this is because of an intimacy that comes from commoning, where else would we sense it?
Well, like when someone hums a tune and everyone picks it up?
Aaha! So the tune is important? That’s dangerous.
Agreed. If the tune comes hemmed in within a boundary, it does strike a suicidal blow. It exhausts.
Yes, if seen as boundary just of place. But if considered in the flow of time? Small acts, their repetition, their murmurs change the course, intensity, and recognition of the act itself.
Acts repeat. They appear here, then elsewhere. They get heard in another somewhere. They are borrowed here and there. They allow a discarding of other acts. They travel around and emerge somewhere as new, exciting. No one is held up on a pedestal in this viral process of commoning.
They are disobedient.
Irreverential of pedestals.
These affinities, these intimacies of commoning emerge in the force of our acts that persuade us out of the hold of commands.
When we push commands and pedestals away, to the edges.
This is also a way of seeing human experience.
This cannot be lived through or thought in sad or mourning ways. These are to be felt and lived with exuberance.