Making a nest

The present is slow and appears almost immo­bile when we linger on it. The quan­tum pul­sa­tion of our clocks may be increas­ing in num­ber, but what we expe­ri­ence of our­selves remains tied to the invis­i­ble wall of life in a sin­gle moment that keeps slip­ping away.

The present is patient. It has noth­ing to do but watch us ges­tic­u­late, get drunk and dry up, some­times in this order or, in a moment of revival, by the oth­er end of the candle.

To make sense of this silence, we usu­al­ly invent a past, which we believe to be sol­id, made of cer­tain­ties. But the past and the future are illu­sions of the mind. Every­thing is cre­at­ed in the present. The last moment, with­out any­thing we can do about it, imme­di­ate­ly rush­es into the uncon­scious like sub­ju­gat­ed tec­ton­ic plates. But what is no longer is still there in our mem­o­ries. These are a con­stant fab­ri­ca­tion made in the present. It is not uncom­mon to rein­ter­pret our sto­ries, give them new mean­ing, and see the light on what were once shadows.

Jung would per­sist in believ­ing that the col­lec­tive uncon­scious is the sym­bol­ic sum of these inter­pre­ta­tions, that our minds seek mean­ing in the atavis­tic labyrinth of ear­ly pre­his­toric impres­sions, and that the expe­ri­ence of whole civ­i­liza­tions comes alive on the sur­face of our dreams to guide us. This is pos­si­ble. Every­thing is possible.

We are always look­ing for our nest, a place, an inner feel­ing in which we some­how man­age to weave mean­ing into this present.

There are those moti­va­tors that urge us to find our X, a French expres­sion that is dif­fi­cult to trans­late into Eng­lish, because X is pro­nounced EX in that lan­guage, and find­ing your EX is con­fus­ing. I pre­fer to speak of a nest, a place where we can engen­der an egg, a thing, a rea­son, a pas­sion that push­es us to par­tic­i­pate in the Order of things.

These same moti­va­tors are not wrong to urge us to look back at our past, to ask our­selves what we loved to do when we were young, because the nest is sure­ly still there. This ques­tion­ing takes on its whole mean­ing when we find our­selves “at a cross­roads,” some­thing that hap­pens more or less often in every­one’s life.

You ask your­self these painful ques­tions : “Who am I?” – “What have I done?” – “Has this made me hap­py?” – “What am I doing right now?” – “Do I like my job or my pay ?

It quick­ly becomes dizzy­ing, and our first instinct is to ignore the truths that come out of it because it seems that it is already too late, that we can­not change the course of things. Com­fort is there, and it holds us.

Where we are may not be an X, a nest, how­ev­er. The tragedy for many of us is that we dare not leave this place, which may be qui­et, but is grey as a cloudy sum­mer sky. Per­haps we are con­tent with lit­tle because, in any case, there is no need to have much.

Our old life, the one we seem to drag along as we nav­i­gate our kar­ma, remains a realm we can always explore. We must let go, deal only with the present and make do. But tell that to the African who can’t grow cocoa. Tell that to the Ukrain­ian who is told that the dic­ta­tor wants to trans­mute his.her soul. Lis­ten to the women who are for­bid­den to choose their lives in the name of a cru­el God. For them, find­ing a nest is not the pri­or­i­ty… Is it, then, a luxury ?

If the present is eter­nal, it is not the one that will give us a defin­i­tive answer. Real­i­ty seems to be else­where, so com­pressed in our mem­o­ries that our entire lives seem to flash by at the slight­est spark of mem­o­ry. The same is true of the his­to­ry of civ­i­liza­tions. Whether they last­ed four hun­dred or a thou­sand years, the many gen­er­a­tions that lived through them moved slow­ly through the jel­lied water of exis­tence with­out sus­pect­ing the tsunamis they were surf­ing on.

The present is a caul­dron, a caldera, or a nest of barbed straw. We have this urgency to sow it. Per­haps our great­est mis­take is that we too often close our eyes to the way we want and love, and we don’t take the time to be aware of it and, by the same token, to be eternal.

This is, of course, only a hypothesis.


  • Ange Michael

    Ange Michael %2022/%09/%04 %18:%Sep 0

    Bonjour mon ami Guy ton teste est beau . stp accepte de me parler.