Voice over :
When asleep my room no longer existed. My eyes closed objects faded from my mind, the absence of light causing them to disappear. It did not cause these things to simply plunge into darkness. They had in fact completely stopped existing because the particles of light no longer bounced upon their surface, depriving them of what was giving them their form. In a sense this was not mistaken, as nothing really exists without its own image. My unswerving conviction was reinforced by the certainty that if I tried to touch the night table with the tips of my "ngers I would have fallen into the abyss and my consciousness would not have the time to reconstruct the object that might break my fall.
Once, when I had to spend the night away from home and we had to turn off the light to sleep, I was in a complete darkness that I noticed I'd never experienced before. The only thing I could hold onto was the clear sound of ticking from the clock, each second passing keeping me from sleep. It was at this time that I "rst realised that the sounds and the images of this world were one and that even without my presence, these objects might remain. This presented me with undeniable evidence that even if nothing really exists without its own image; and even if the image that I make of the world is also that which I perceive, without light things are still in motion.
The world is beyond me.
Man is kindled and put out like a light in the night time
When I came to learn the fundamentals of calculation and the writing of numerals in order, my mother recalls my teacher at the time con"ding in her his difficulty in having me write the zero. I refused stubbornly to draw the contour of the numeral and instead I kept the space where it should be written empty.
My recent recollection of this anecdote strangely brought to mind the late appearance of the zero in the history of numbers. I believe it must also represent something innately unthinkable. The paradoxical idea of giving nothing a form, even as a hollow that points to absence, somehow generates anxiety.
Zero as a negative quantity gives us the measure of what is not or what is not yet, but also of what isn't anymore. It probably awakened me to the feeling of our "nitude.
Just as I refused to write the zero, for a long time I believed that the rhythm of the heart beating was set to the second hand of our watches. Every night I meticulously wound up the mechanism of my watch
so that I might wake up in the morning to live another day.
What once seemed absurd to me made sense later when I learned that the length of a second had originally been established by observing the distance between one heartbeat and the next.
1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi 3 Mississippi 4 Mississippi 5 Mississippi 6 Mississippi 7 Mississippi 8 Mississippi 9 Mississippi 10 Mississippi 11 Mississippi 12 Mississippi 13 Mississippi 14 Mississippi 15 Mississippi 16 Mississippi 17 Mississippi 18 Mississippi 19 Mississippi 20 Mississippi 21 Mississippi 22 Mississippi ...
This rough fraction of one eighty six thousand four hundredth of the solar day was actually the equivalent of our Mississippi. I realised by watching the second hand each Mississippi started becoming out of sync once it was repeated about 15 times.
Some would welcome the idea that "fteen billion years ago something set the wheels in motion. But we could also imagine that time became separate from space spontaneously out of nothing, allowing it to exist as another dimension governed by the same laws.
Time itself also happened.
I believed that I could remember things that hadn't happened yet and couldn't tell the difference between what had already happened and what was yet to come. Another of my beliefs was the idea that I could only partially change what would happen in the future, while others could control events completely. I was deeply convinced that the phenomenon of déjà-vu created brackets of time giving each of us the opportunity to directly in#uence the near future.
When I tried later to explain the feeling to myself, I "gured that every moment in which we take part is continuously being written in our conscience. Whenever for one reason or another we overlook the writing, the instant in we are immersed is interrupted for an in"nitesimal unit of time. This lets us glimpse the immediate world for a brief instant, but without remembering, and what we perceive is indeed registered but with a delay, as a memory of something we have lived already... At this point we are inhabiting two layers - one of which is déjà-vu.
Today I am witness of the paradox of the stars, whose image as I am perceiving them predates my own birth.
We only ever touch the real through the memory we make of it ... We only ever remember what will happen, remind our conscience of it in that fraction of a second that separates us from the real.
All things we see when awake are death even as all we see in slumber are sleep.