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On ordinary life

Modifié le : 2019/07/20

“I have a very ordi­nary, even flat life, but I like it.” I ask my inter­locu­tor to repeat. We were stand­ing, some friends around us. We start­ed by ques­tion­ing my nov­els, the mean­ing I brought to them, why I was writ­ing. As I am talk­a­tive, it last­ed a long time. Then, as the sub­ject dried up, I sent the ball back to the one who was ask­ing me all these questions.

“Yes, I have a very ordi­nary life. I some­times have dreams, I would like to write, make films, but after thir­ty min­utes, I get tired. So I don’t have much to say.”

So my inter­locu­tor was seri­ous. It was not a false humil­i­ty to make me look even more valu­able than I am. I imme­di­ate­ly replied that there are no ordi­nary peo­ple, that every life deserves to be told. He con­ced­ed it to me with­out real­ly believ­ing it too much. He was exact­ly my age and, a few min­utes lat­er, I lost inter­est in him, shocked and disappointed.

How can some­one not be pas­sion­ate ? How can we not be inter­est­ed in, I don’t know what, but still inter­est­ed in some­thing ? Are there peo­ple with­out any thought of the future, who soft­ly swal­low the hours ?

For all we know, they are hap­pi­er than I am, because it’s true that you have to be wary of pas­sion­ate peo­ple ; they cre­ate hyper­boles so eas­i­ly. Some­times there is not much dif­fer­ence between an artist and an alco­holic. I have as proof this friend who received us for his birth­day and dur­ing which the con­ver­sion men­tioned above took place. Until a week ago, I real­ly appre­ci­at­ed this friend, but I have since learned that his pas­sion is fraud­u­lent­ly fed on oth­er peo­ple’s mon­ey (he brazen­ly stole Ganymede’s mon­ey as treasurer.)

If I too am often in the ordi­nary of life, I try to dig into my con­science. The artist is not out of the ordi­nary ; he only takes a dif­fer­ent look at these hours, which pass at the same pace for everyone.

An ordi­nary per­son who works in an ordi­nary place and returns home to his or her fam­i­ly of ordi­nary chil­dren and their ordi­nary plea­sures and desires is only the vision of an artist try­ing to get out of his or her own monot­o­ny. Every vital part is a real mir­a­cle, and it’s not a cliché.

I will be quick to be told that there are fools, vio­lent, retard­ed, vul­gar, lewd, bes­tial peo­ple who slit the throats of their neigh­bors and who have their throats slit in return. I will be told that the ordi­nary is some­times bet­ter than these polit­i­cal or reli­gious elu­cubra­tions, that an “ordi­nary” per­son does less harm than a seek­er of truth.

This word “ordi­nary” is usu­al­ly used every­where, it is a ser­vice to eccentrics and artists by pro­vid­ing them with their false pre­texts to act dif­fer­ent­ly. It also serves the devo­tees who have made it into mass­es and masses.

Let us offer a def­i­n­i­tion. The ordi­nary is what is ordered, what does not devi­ate from the norm, what fits into a cer­tain mold. More­over, what is, for a time, an eccen­tric­i­ty caus­ing anger and mis­un­der­stand­ing, very often becomes the ordi­nary of the next day.

The sub­ject is so vast, so con­tra­dic­to­ry. The ordi­nary would be to orig­i­nal­i­ty what shad­ow is to the sun ? Are they only reflec­tions of the same real­i­ty ? The fan­tas­tic, the grotesque, the divine, the scan­dalous, the won­der­ful, all these great worlds of dra­ma and com­e­dy are mag­ni­fy­ing effects over the tena­cious and thick real­i­ty that seems more ordered and calm. Behind our skin, our organs move ; behind this rock atoms burst, beyond this sky so black at night are woven poi­soned and kalei­do­scop­ic inter­stel­lar bal­lets. The ordi­nary is only a lie if you make it true. The extra­or­di­nary is the sim­ple desire to pierce one’s shell and trans­form one­self, no mat­ter how much one steps into the unknown’s ter­ri­to­ry. It means get­ting out of your box, shift­ing box­es, tak­ing the old one back, try­ing to turn it upside down, undo­ing it, rebuild­ing it.

There’s a lit­tle bit of that when you go to the movies to immerse your­self in a uni­verse that’s not ours. Ah, escape ! We all dream of it ! All voy­ages are allowed when you take the time to do so. On con­di­tion, of course, that our flights do not over­shad­ow oth­ers. Some­times you have to not lis­ten to those oth­er jour­neys, how­ev­er, and not be afraid to shake them. The sub­ject is so broad, I repeat, so con­tra­dic­to­ry. I get excit­ed, I get excited.

I have to get my air back because I’m get­ting lost. I will nev­er be able to con­clude this text. It’s late, I have no answer and it’s bet­ter that way. So I have noth­ing to say to this man who was indulging in his flat life. Every­thing ends in dust.

How­ev­er, I sus­pect this man is lying. Every live being seeks its food. I think this man is out of his ordi­nary when he ejac­u­lates, the moment he has want­ed to ejac­u­late. And that’s already some­thing, even if it’s just one of those evanes­cent cre­ations of the mind. It is a promis­ing first draft…

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