The territory we’re interested in:
“We” in literature is strange, it makes a claim that might make us uncomfortable: who is this “we,” how can a plural voice speak, think, or act? In some contexts the implications of “we” might be cultural or political, in others, they might be spookier, more existential. “We” is the limbic brain and the neighborhood, the family tree and the Gallup poll. “We” could be the voice of the future, the populated past, or the unparsed present. “We” seems impossible, like it’s just a second away from disappearing into an “I” or a “they.” And impossible seems like a good place to start.
We are interested in the “we” because the “I” does not exist in any sort of truthful singularity. Time factors in, for example. We are interested in plots against narcissism, especially as they factor into “politics.” In poetry, the “I” functions to invite lyricism, it becomes the force by which sentiment is wedded to a system of logic. We are interested in the collective as it manifests in all temporary forms, collaboration as it evidences moving through disagreement, and community as it situates itself locally despite all efforts to stretch it past its thinnest point.
We want to belong. We want others to belong to us. We want the “we” to give us meaning, to define us, just as we define ourselves against those very limits.
In NYC, 50.6% of people live alone.
In NYC, we’re constantly bombarded by other people. Can be hard to unclench when we’re compressed by the stimulation of people, buildings, machines. The crowded feeling can erode desire for one’s own community. Yet the sentimental desire for community may never erode.
How sentimental is the desire for community?
How many who wish for “we” desire belonging as being warmly swallowed up? How many who wish for community really want to lead, and stand somehow above? Are those who lead destined to make “we” about “me”?
Yet, there is successful collaboration. Teams do win.
Just like the art of leading, the art of belonging is a lifelong pursuit.
Sometimes, these considerations are immaterial when first person plural is what the storytelling demands.
From us, in the field,
Co-founders Amy Benson, Stacy Parker Le Melle, Wendy S. Walters.