lived by a body that dwells on a constant go (which is any body), waiting is a gerund
‘a gerund’ ∿ a verbal living and
breathing form that puts a wor(l)d
in flux and equally signifies a noun,
a lump of gerunds momentarily
consolidated into a body
if any waiting is a gerund, structural waiting might be one of the heaviest to stretch on:
it is lived by a body tentacular with sticky muсous or dehydrated cracking knots of its relations, sore with salty brine of its unfoldings through the structural dailiness, the brine oozing through one’s overworked pores, ‘unziping’ (Neimanis 2017) a Cartesian colonial/modern (Lugones 2007) idea of a body as a solid, sealed, able to stay still or be passive piece of furniture for a rational mind to meaningfully exist. No such thing as a passive body : relations are mutually transformative and what is pitched as passivity is a matter of power dispersion and clumping: “To make someone wait: the constant prerogative of all power, “age-old passtime of humanity” (Barthes 1979, 40). No such thing as a passively waiting body : even if they might look standing still, even if it sits quietly on a page.
Structurally, it is always a w e i g h t i ng and, as an overall body(ing), gerunds of waiting are “never quite there” (Manning 2006) but also heavily are,
likely to be tucked under the belt of other intersectionally tangled structural conundrums
of a rent to be paid,
of an invoice covered,
of a bus not to be missed,
of a harvest to be lush,
of an immigration law to (not) change,
of food steaming for dinner;
tucked away from voyeurism that determines what’s real.
as a gerund, waiting is a thistle
scabrously purpling bruises of a precariously waiting body
with spikes and hooks
cluttering unease, reaching out, getting stuck, sticking to other bodyings, other waitings, other structures, other worlds - making a difference in the quotidian, in “a shifting assemblage of practices and practical knowledges, a scene of both liveliness and exhaustion, a dream of escape” (Stewart 2007, 1)
Anastasia (A) Khodyreva is a transdisciplinary turkulainen theorist, researcher & writer. Their work focuses on how dominant Western politics of structural marginalisation is lived in one’s daily life and multispecies communities & how it is and might yet be quietly and collectively subverted. Their ways of knowing and working are collaboration, haptic encounters, sound walks, hydrofeminist and new materialist figuring, note-taking and multisensorial writing. With Elina Suoyrjö, They co-facilitate Aquatic Encounters: Arts and Hydrofeminisms (KONE Foundation 2020-2022; 2023). They have written and edited internationally with The Unlikely Journal for Creative Arts, niin & näin, The CSPA Quarterly, Errant Bodies Press & others.
A Waiting Notebook is a year-long trans-disciplinary reflection on the political potency of waiting. The project wonders site-sensitively, gets stuck, reads, listens, converses and occasionally writes. @awaitingbody
Explore A Waiting Reading List – curated by (A).
Editorial support for A Waiting Notebook by Kaitlyn D. Hamilton.
Many thanks to Arts Promotion Center Finland (Taiteen edistämiskeskus) for supporting this project.