This is my last time writing the season’s editorial.
This is what I wanted.
This is what I was permitted.
It’s a small word, just three letters.
Yet it goes in all directions.
It says the final period that the author,
puts after the final word of the commission that he granted himself.
The word is a vast relief,
long and deep,
a sigh of wellbeing.
It says the spectator who begins to daydream, actively or passively,
when the curtain falls,
when the lights come back up, just a bit cruelly.
It says the pleasure of the student who evades the question
when the bell sounds the end of class.
It says life and death.
Life that grows in steps, in inevitable shocks
and life that is extinguished.
It says all the extremes,
all the transitions that open to the unknown,
Transitions from daycare to school,
from school to college,
from college to work,
from work to retirement,
from retirement to the final END.
The word is everywhere in our lives,
our living-room conversations,
our subdued and secret anxieties,
our need for freedom,
Yet, we dread the end
all the ends,
even when every pore in our skin desires it
It’s visceral, instinctive – in short, human.
We witness, powerless and ambivalent,
the end of presumed innocence
in the transition from childhood to adolescence.
We thrive on the illusion of immortality
as the ultimate challenge.
The illusion of infinite growth
to quiet the vertigo of a possible loss.
We dread the end of great stories,
that end that returns us to ourselves.
We have trouble coping with the end of authority,
which leaves us without references to time,
without the reassuring feeling of belonging to a society
that has a past
a future before it.
I write in the end and I think I have grasped the word,
have given it its true place as transition.
Transition from yesterday to today,
from today to tomorrow.
that lets us take a new breath.
Relaxation of the entire body
to leap better . . .
I sit comfortably in the understatement.
The word END is much more loaded.
I know it.
I feel it.
It says much more than a transition.
between the lines,
between the periods and the innocent commas,
forty years of victories, successes, failures,
patiently constructed bonds,
debates without end,
questions without answers,
countries visited, adored, detested,
that nourish as surely as warm bread,
exuberant enthusiasms . . .
In capital letters
The word END . . .
Could mean a calming down of these surges of life.
A running down of these movements of the soul.
And yet . . .
And yet . . .
I’ve scratched deeply under each letter . . .
I feel only the powerful breath of freedom.
The time to make order in these suitcases that the years have filled.
The time of sharing truancy.
Of provisional conclusions,
of solitary reflection,
of free writing,
of one who is retracing her steps . . .
and of all the others that life brings to the surface.
Yes, there is transition in this word END, as we experience it at Le Carrousel
as we turn forty.
A transition and much more than a transition.
A formidable leap of history,
an incredible appropriation of ethics, of values, of the past,
of that which gives the power of all beginnings, as Revault d’Allonnes would say,
and the audacity of all challenges.
This end of one time,
which Gervais tempers
with his unfailing presence,
his smooth creativity,
always in movement,
which Marie-Eve assumes with the inexhaustible energy of youth
aspires to light,
to the bright day.
I write the word END and I see only the future opening up.
The free writing that writes for words, ideas,
meaning without schedules, without deadlines.
The promise that stirs under my fingers,
fills my gaze with a formidable horizon
my heart with an immense thrust of hope.
carries us forward,
breathes life and its changes.
Today is a promise.