Where to begin is problematic because this is organic, even after its temporary (re)presentation in this written form as a memorialization of what has been examined. It is problematic because there is no single point to begin as this writing is more aptly symbolic of a vast territory of experience and knowledge then it is an isolated outpost of something proved or disproved. So where to begin in all of this is problematic because in a concrete sense the origin of all this is so significantly interconnected that to pinpoint “a beginning” would be to betray the truth that such a statement would seek to make.
That is to say once again that there really is no sequence to any of this. I would further offer that any such sequence is better found in the title and its deliberate positioning of words then would be in this introduction. And all of this is complicated, some might even say that it is needlessly complicated. My anticipation of such a response is calculated, both for pedantic effect and for histrionic impact.
So let’s double-back now to the question, “Where to begin?” After the last several paragraphs, can it be established that we have, in fact, begun? What should become at least somewhat visible at this point is that this response has not been sequential to this question but its lack of sequence should not deter from the sincerity of its reaction. This response has been intended to demonstrate movement. This movement is not sequenced in a numerical sense; there is not counting here from one to two to three to four. This is, instead, an example of movement that is perhaps more organic as it illustrates a fragility of action (in this case, this introduction) and, equally relevant, our interpretation of such a delicate process. In other words, the effort here has been to (re)present what learning can feel like and to also complicate an assumption that knowledge must be presented in a particular manner.
Perhaps my initiating of the question “Where to begin?” is somewhat indicative of my slight anxiety to introductions as I am keenly aware that a first impression is a powerful indicator of how my identity is established with another person. Obviously we are not meeting in a face-to-face way but that does not mean that you, the reader, are still not being introduced to me, the author. There is an imbalance, however, in this interaction as I have the advantage of having much more time to thoroughly consider the choice and positioning of words to influence this encounter and it is exactly this recognition that causes the anxiety that I previously mentioned. There is substantial power in authorship, no? Shouldn’t one be at least a little apprehensive about having power such as that?
I find the binary framing of questioning and the reaction of answering-as-solution somewhat obnoxious because there is a hint of insistence and arrogance in that kind of back-and-forth. Not to say that there are not answers but it is to say that far too often one person’s answer can quickly become another person’s problem. I have come to recognize though that truth is contextual and situated in an almost impossibly complex interplay between people, time, and space. So to respond to a question with a solution is an action that I have learned to be considerate of.
Perhaps my initiating of the question “Where to begin?” is somewhat indicative of my slight anxiety to introductions as I am keenly aware that a first impression is a powerful indicator of how my identity is established with another person. Obviously we are not meeting in a face-to-face way but that does not mean that you, the reader, are still not being introduced to me, the author.
Where to begin? Not when as that time has already passed; when was just moments ago. Not how, as that has already been determined by this writing, by the form that is this text. Perhaps why but that may be a question left for a later time; the why as it pertains to this moment is established in large part by the response to how and mostly provides further context in its response.