[Ce texte en français]
I used to be free. I would imagine the worst possible kind of suffering, and then come out of it with a renewed, useless sense of being able to start all over again (more or less). After a while, however, with all the repeated demands regarding my contribution to the world, the sense of duty couldn’t leave me unaffected. I don’t know when, exactly, but, one day, I had to acknowledge that I was stuck. The necessity of contributing was stronger than the attraction of the waves.
I didn’t immediately grasp the consequence. It took me several years. It’s not that easy to change when you’ve been functioning in such a purely casual and dilettantish way for so many years. This did not prevent my decisions, however, from starting to take a different course soon after.
This different course is a way of retiring that I have now resolutely embraced. I know very well that, by retiring, as I did, from urban life, social activity, the grumble of the media, political games, and cultural and linguistic mud fights, I’ve single-handedly deprived myself of an intoxicating structure of possibilities. I know very well that it is now extremely difficult for me to participate in the piling up of obstacles that might have ended up creating solutions. I will probably never know (barring a highly unlikely reversal of fate) what kind of beast of the world I might have become if I had agreed to play the game a little longer. I would probably have continued developing strategies of ever increasing complexity and efficiency (due to their very cumulative effect) intended to deal with time and, incidentally, get ahead of it, some times, by accident, and spit out beauty. I could have developed the social dimension which might have made me an artist — or an anarchist. By submitting to the pressures of a deafening, chaotic, polluted, rotten, rich and poor, diabetic, dirty, harrowing, nervous, stupefying, deadening environment, I might have ended up finding a contemporary status conducive to discord, misunderstanding, controversy, and even — who knows? — scandal — whatever makes the world go round.
But all this simply could not have happened. As soon as my body began making certain decisions, taking certain directions for me, retiring was inevitable. The only option was (and still is, more and less than ever) this — or nervous madness.
I did not retire so that I could better spring up. I did not retire in order to plot, to prepare my comeback to the world as a “renaissance.” I have only, simply renounced flashiness. As soon as I knew that it was inaccessible, my body gave up pursuing it. It took more — and still is taking more — time for my mind to make the radical, yet necessary adjustments, but both poles will end up being sufficiently in phase that their friction will regain the status of a rearguard scuffle that it should never have relinquished.
It is not that I am not doing anything, that I am no longer participating in any effort to “change the world.” This is something I do from my retired position, in a way that is probably often of an incomprehensible appearance — and yet true, easily truer than the apparent authenticity of the fermenting culture of society (or whatever can be found within it).
It is no source of pride to me. It’s taken me six years to spit out these few explanatory words, and they are barely passable. However, from where I’m standing, so close to the silence, to the peace and quiet, to the sea, to the atmospheric pressure, to the mist, to the punishment of things, I can see, better than from anywhere else, that it couldn’t have been otherwise, that this is the only place where you can dip — unseen — your finger deep into your mucous membranes and suck the bitter juice of pleasure that will never become familiar enough to be untrue.
I am also (relatively) fortunate that I live at a (relative) time where it is (relatively) easy to take advantage of the (relative) subtlety that only close and regular contact with a great number of individuals can yield — if only by accident, at any time, in a (relatively) close location, since the probability is high enough not to be insignificant (without necessarily having to endure the drawbacks of numbers).
It might also appear as a form of cowardice — such as the one you demonstrate when you save money by buying a product which you know very well is only cheaper than the competition because it was made by slaves somewhere in China — but there is as much cowardice in continuing to take refuge in the anonymousness of cities, the alignment of highways and the affluence of libraries. There are books that are born from having agreed to coexist with myriads of written words. There are other books that are born in the illiterate silence of ferns and old stumps — all you need to do is to be patient enough to wait until you are able to read fragments of them.
So, this retiring, this retirement — not really sure whether there is a difference, it came by itself — I probably owe it to the conspiring elements, to the predefined trajectories of the struggles, to the written words of the destinations. This is a choice that I didn’t have to make — and therefore a choice that I don’t have to regret making. I don’t even have to explain it. I let it carry me, without pride, without confidence, without any mondanité.
All this doesn’t force anyone to read me. I have accidental readers. They are just as important. I have the technological means and the lack of disgust that I need to make room for them. I just need to extend my territory, to find the dimensions that will finally give it the expected resonance. No rush. Life is almost bruise-free. (Infections are a fact of life, wherever you are.) Why ask for less?
My self-esteem is only affected about once per month — or once per cycle of badly faxed dreams. I trust the mist. It cannot be as acid as people say and, if there is anything that affects me in my joints, anyway, it’s not the mist, it’s its arrival, its departure, what comes next, the mood shifts of the horizon. It’s not the world, it’s the energy that rules it, its direct accessibility. Not those ideas that are thrown down to the crowd to keep it entertained.
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