For more than four years now, I have been renovating, built beyond my budget, in a kind of quiet and irregular release. The result is there and, even if I don’t see the end of it yet, it satisfies me. This apartment is gradually taking on the characteristics of my personality: a simple geometry, somewhat old-fashioned, focused on the material. There is, above all, a desire for height. I get rid of old moldings, bulky plasters. In this sense, I am firmly modern.
Planning is done at the whim of inspiration, as if the plan escaped me, as if I were, in the end, only one ant among the busy others. I often think that what I build will survive me. I read a similar thought on Facebook yesterday. One publisher always said that he preferred the physical contact of a book over its digital equivalent. He added, with a hint of desperate sadness, I think, that he wanted to leave his son an inheritance of all the books he had read, touched and skilfully stacked on his shelves.
We attach great importance to objects, to what does not live, to the way of those peoples who worshipped their mummies or the relics of their ancestors. In contrast, Buddhist monks draw mandalas on the ground with only rice or colored sand. Once the task is accomplished, they make a few mantras, then destroy the work or leave it at the mercy of the wind.
The Westerner would at least have taken a picture as a souvenir.
The tracks. They are essential to the person who creates them. I know, however, that tomorrow I could leave the house I am building. I have already heard the story of a man who, although he was married and was a father, insisted on keeping a suitcase by the door, ready to leave it all. His wife knew the contents, cleaned up around it. The man never left this lady, and I can’t decide who was the most unhappy, the one who said he wanted to go or the one who was fighting to hope nothing.
Our dramas, inevitably, are played out around the projection into a future that will only belong to other ants, and we still apply ourselves to the task for them. We obey the species, the universe, our impulses engraved in our DNA as the solar winds were.
True, we should only keep one suitcase near us, the one that contains the seeds of our future, and laugh at us before we put down the next brick.