Our sails

Modifié le : 2019/08/06

I’m not allowed to take pic­tures of you, to talk about you by show­ing your face. You have the right to your inner world, to your anonymi­ty even if, para­dox­i­cal­ly, you may dream of being in the spot­light. In Amer­i­can Amer­i­ca, I would not be bored or intimidated.

Nei­ther did yes­ter­day after­noon, in fact. Indeed, I did­n’t use a flash, most of you did­n’t even notice. Who knows, you may one day see this pic­ture, or some­one around you will see you and shout insults at you because you will have lied. You weren’t where you were sup­posed to be, you skipped school, you weren’t at work.

Of course, you did­n’t do any of that. I’m mak­ing this up, I don’t know you. When I take the sub­way, you’re still there, but it’s not you any­more. Your faces are strange­ly sim­i­lar, but they are not the same.

For my part, I was return­ing from a com­mis­sion. I took pic­tures of an elec­tri­cal sta­tion. So I was­n’t in my usu­al place either. Maybe some­one took a pic­ture of me and put the image on the Inter­net. One of my clients, think­ing I was work­ing on his project, might have seen me.

Boy, I’m enti­tled to my anonymi­ty too. It is a small thing that we place in front of us, like a veil, to pre­serve our sump­tu­ous per­son­al attire.

It does­n’t mat­ter. I took this pic­ture a few min­utes after I fin­ished read­ing A Voy­age to Arc­turus, a strange book writ­ten at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry. It did not make the same impres­sion on me as it did when I first read it. I was twen­ty years old. But look­ing at you, dear passers-by, imme­di­ate­ly brought me back to this book that I had just left. The con­clu­sion of the nov­el is so hyper-meta­phys­i­cal that its mean­ing is overlooked.

The author is prob­a­bly right. We will nev­er be able to under­stand even if, behind our anonymi­ty, we know everything.