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Are we?

Modifié le : 2019/08/08

I dreamt that a well-known pub­lish­ing house would return my man­u­script to me with a let­ter of vehe­ment non­sense and tell me not to write a sin­gle word again. I was new in a con­vo­lut­ed office. My col­leagues looked like peo­ple I knew. They offered me a beau­ti­ful wel­come card in which, sur­pris­ing­ly, were the sig­na­tures of the peo­ple of the pub­lish­ing house who insult­ed me. So I had to refuse this card, explain­ing why, which cre­at­ed a shock wave among my new col­leagues. The strangest thing (but deep down, what could be stranger in a dream than anoth­er part of it?) is that, in real­i­ty, I did not sub­mit this man­u­script to this pub­lish­ing house.

I have a few ideas that are fly­ing around : I’m not cut out for this world ; I can’t take my place in it ; I’m a stranger among myself. Betray­al is every­where, and I always put myself in a desta­bi­liz­ing sit­u­a­tion. I am unable to man­age mon­ey prop­er­ly even if I man­age (it is because I am work­ing), I am a cre­ator, but I will prob­a­bly sink like nine­ty-nine point nine­ty-nine per­cent of the cre­ators of this world. There, I am afraid, as Yeats would have said, not of death, but of oblivion.

I am cur­rent­ly read­ing the biog­ra­phy of Steve Jobs, whose nar­cis­sis­tic neu­ro­sis was unde­ni­able. He could be kind or ungrate­ful, often both at the same time ; he cat­e­go­rized peo­ple into two clans : genius­es and losers. Peo­ple hat­ed him and admired him too. I fig­ure he could have got­ten his way oth­er than by being an ass­hole. And yet, he is now revered for his genius (mar­ket­ing) traits. We acknowl­edge him for hav­ing changed this, that (with the help of real crafts­men for whom he was only the great moti­va­tor), we rec­og­nize him for hav­ing made his mark. The man had the vision that he would die young and admit­ted to being in a hur­ry for life. His ego filled with con­tra­dic­tions (he was Zen and had no pas­sion except for mak­ing beau­ti­ful objects), so he packed his whole world, he took cred­it for every­thing, made patents even for his pack­ag­ing box­es. In short, an extreme­ly unpleas­ant (and dirty) being. He real­ly start­ed wash­ing in his forties.

It seems to me that my dream trans­pos­es this read­ing. Then doubt set­tles in. Am I also a nar­cis­sis­tic pan­tomime ? My yes­ter­day text appears to have shocked some of my read­ers. I prob­a­bly made myself mis­un­der­stood by say­ing that most peo­ple no longer inter­est me. And in my dream, the insults came from above, from a pub­lish­ing house that has always refused me its doors.

I cer­tain­ly have claims. I want to find my hap­pi­ness, to cre­ate a trace that, like these leaves of every autumn, will only have the beau­ty of one sea­son. Are we any­thing oth­er than automa­tons dri­ven by indomitable cur­rents ? We still know so lit­tle about the mys­tery around us. Our mis­takes could prove to be neces­si­ties and our suc­cess­es par­al­lel truths, with­out morals and mis­eries. For a long time, out of inca­pac­i­ty and sure­ly out of lazi­ness, we have called our igno­rance by the name of God. What is the source of our life ? Are we only a slow riv­er of exis­tence that man­ages to leave its mark on the ground ? Who are the peo­ple around us ? What are their goals ? We have, once again out of igno­rance and weari­ness, called these peo­ple by var­i­ous names, but nam­ing them is no longer enough. We should be able to go beyond these bor­ders, to think dif­fer­ent­ly, as sug­gest­ed by the Great Com­put­er Snake with its deli­cious apple.

I’m con­fused this morn­ing, just like my dream is. I’d like to make a clean slate. I’m just not awake yet. I have things to do today, gro­cery, shop­ping, count­ing, pro­fes­sion­al work, bak­ing my bread, tak­ing my pain in patience, visu­al­iz­ing my suc­cess, lick­ing my hair as a cat would proud­ly do.

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