Monthly Archives: October 2009

I never woke up

‘I dreamed that you wound in and out of my life, from the beginning, from before the beginning. You floated through all things, and regions vaster than I’d ever imagined. I stared wide-eyed, and never woke up.’

Fragile

‘You draw me into you before I can lift my head and look around for you. I’m in your field before I can identify myself. Yet you’re fragile: I can assert myself over you – silence you by talking – any time I choose. But where does my speech come from and what interrupts it? I talk and realise I’m talking with you not apart from you. There’s nothing to assert. All our words are fragile. Hence the afflicted laughter that wells up from creation. Laughter at, with, from, in and through you.’

Prayer

Another terrible night. It was raining so hard I didn’t dare go to the church. I couldn’t pray. I know very well that the desire to pray is already prayer, and that God couldn’t ask for more. But it wasn’t a question of duty. At that moment, I needed prayer like I needed air in my lungs or oxygen in my blood. Behind me, there was no longer familiar day-to-day life which one can leave behind in one fell swoop. Behind me there was nothing, and before me was a wall. A black wall. Suddenly something seemed to shatter in my breast, and I was seized by a trembling that lasted over an hour. What if it had only been an illusion? Even the saints knew their hour of failure and loss.

— Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest

In the outside

‘You’re my loss and my possibility, my lie and my chance to grasp the truth. We seek each other out, we seek completion. But the more I address you the further you fade from me. I’m consigned to make this loss my home, in the outside, and let you come and go. This narrows my life down to a point while opening it up into unimaginable expanses. I live only for you, through you, which is no way to live.’

Another world

‘We continued our half-hearted search for another world until we realised we were already there, that the world was other enough as it was, that you’d separated us from the it and that we ourselves were other. What changed then? Didn’t we get a little more patient, a little less half-hearted? A little less guilty? Something changed, we were able to laugh a little, talk to you more freely.’

Grace

‘I separated myself from you even as you entered me, I’m already guilty of you, of myself. From time to time your absence is given to me as presence, as grace. You’re everywhere in your depth of absence.’

The limit of error

‘I owe you my life, the life you close down. My freedom, my enemy. You draw me away from the throttling world. Into what? I glimpse you as the world draws me back. I fall further, into the hole, almost beneath language. Who’ll pull me out? You can’t be commanded, I lie in wait for you, for the word that guides or seduces, that pulls other words with it. The word comes, conjures up others, they pull me up and push me down. I’ve fallen into some kind of error, hole or not, and now only you, my error, can open me up. Into what? Into the outside, towards the limit of error.’