We’re all in the kitchen now, a few days later; Sidonie is having her supper and Nicole is working on one for the adults. It smells good – one of Nicole’s fancy variations, with Irish potatoes, fresh sage and gruyere – and I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I’ve not done much of the housework at all. I walk over to the sink and start doing the dishes. We’re talking about the various possibilities for a narrative arc in the new section.
‘I really don’t think there’s a need to go too far back into your personal history. It’ll feel contrived, unnecessary for your larger point,’ Nicole is saying, ‘Perhaps a tension between your academic and art-making selves?’ I shake my head. ‘But there isn’t a tension really there. That’s the whole point.’ ‘Well then make that point within the text itself,’ Nicole says, shaking the spoon in her hand. ‘A story about the mostly constructed tension between writing and making, one that is only there because people say it is'.
Sidonie comes from the next room, holding hands with Nonie. ‘What?’ she asks, shaking her head and laughing. ‘I’m sorry; it’s very hard to hear from the next room, you know, with Nonie and cooking and the TV on.’ I hadn’t even noticed that Sidonie left the television on. ‘I’ve got it,’ I say. ‘It’s a story about the stories that practice and experience enable. About how they form and re-form in their performative telling and re-telling.’
My voice is a litle wishy-washy here, but I keep going. ‘They say their forms include “research as performative, research as provocative, and research as poetic’. Nicole stops me by putting her hand up; it’s a soft gesture, but accomplishes its goal. In her driest voice, with elongated vowels, she asks, ‘And you don’t want to be categorized with them because…?'