Saturday, May 12, 2007


Missing a night's sleep wrecks one's equilibrium, but if it involves all-night drinking and listening to records and chatting and then deciding at 4.30am that a crepuscular walk would be in order, it’s something one really should do every once in a while. No more mind, it really does wreck your equilibrium…


Dawn hovers over a variety of oppositions : it is neither-both day-night, light-dark, awake-asleep, beginning-end. It’s when the day begins ; everybody would agree this, even if the clocks state that the new day begins at midnight. But when exactly does it begin? There is no moment when one can say, Ah now the day begins. As one walks, one can say “the day is about to begin” or “the day has just begun” but not “now it begins.”

What is really going on in things, what is really happening, is always “to come”. Every time you try to stabilise the meaning of things, try to fix it in its missionary position, the thing itself, if there is anything at all, slips away.

- Jacques Derrida, “Speech and Phenomena”


But one cannot deny the process : however Moebian its course, night becomes day, and at great speed. The sun rises over a chimney as we look back down a country-lane. Nature rustles as its first rays are felt. The animals in the hedges take breath in, readying themselves for the daily leap of faith. The sun is orange, a big tangerine, and it ascends over the roof. It screams its welcome to the new day.

Soon a couple of engines rev up, for now it is safe to come outside. The day has begun. Will anybody look up and see that sun has underlit a huge swathe of cloud above a pool of blue sky, giving the impression of a Pacific coast road? Or is that just me?

Yes, the day has begun, but where did it come from? What’s there now that wasn’t there before? Night is now day, dark has become light, the asleep are awake (we were awake all along, of course), the end of yesterday has become the beginning of today. But when did it happen? We can’t say ; to walk at dawn is to live a little in the realm of the unfeasible.


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