Martin Steffens: “Every morning a new world is possible”

Children struggle to fall asleep because to sleep is, for one night at least, to die. Sleep introduces a discontinuity into the tenuous thread of their consciousness: who assures them that it will not be a definitive rupture? The comforter. Her mission is to pick up the child if the dreams that arise under her eyelids take her too far. It is loaded with good vibes from adults, loaded with the promise they make to the child: everything is going to be fine, the night passes, and you stay.

Mornings as first times

If every night is death, then every morning is resurrection. Upon awakening, our eyes open to the beginning of the world. It only lasts a moment. But this moment, as Proust restores it in the first lines of the research, can stretch.

All we have to do is wake up in a room where we don’t remember falling asleep: “My body, too numb to move, sought, according to the shape of its fatigue, to identify the position of its limbs to infer the direction of the wall, the place of the furniture, to reconstruct and to name the dwelling where it is. found. His memory, the memory of his ribs, his knees, his shoulders, successively presented to him several of the rooms where he had slept, while around him the invisible walls, changing places according to the shape of the imagined room, swirled in the darkness. »

Then, one picks up the thread of one’s life. The original candor, the nativity of everything, fades. We put things right. The challenges of the day hurry us, those of the day before weigh us down. When you get out of bed, the games are already done. We know, before putting it on the ground, whether it is the right or the left which will first touch the ground.

Nevertheless: there is, in the eye that one opens on one’s life, not an umpteenth day, added to all the others, but a new first time. I’m sure that if, tomorrow morning, we woke up as a child, we would leave cheerfully from that point. We would head, from one (little) man, in pajamas towards honey toast and hot chocolate. We would abandon, like a bad dream that comes from who knows where, the worries and regrets of this adult life.

Yes, as soon as you wake up

Every morning, a new world is possible. A relative, chaplain in prison, tells the story of an inmate who, because of the evil he has committed, thinks only of ending his life. Here’s someone whose morning doesn’t have the childlike innocence I was talking about.

Here is a man who carries with him the days that precede. A man deprived of dawn. The chaplain advises him, at the first thought, to pronounce this word: yes.

Yes to what? To everything: to the hatred he feels for himself; to the discreet, silent, virile solicitude of his cellmates; to the shapes created by a cigarette in the window recess. Yes, yes, yes, every second. And, thus, to hold firm by offering the guilty flesh that we are to the mercy of the Father.

It is obviously impossible. The no will win. The days following his crime, beyond which he cannot go back, will tarnish every moment. So this yes must be the very first thought, the one we nest in the instant of our awakening, where everything is still possible; where a child, instead of us, could get up and take his joy into the house before joining his toast of honey.

Envelop the day that comes from a first consent; dare, before the day begins, the “Fiat! » origins…

Martin Steffens: “Every morning a new world is possible”