With a fountain pen

I have writ­ten with a pen for a long time, start­ing in late high school. I remem­ber order­ing let­ter­head at the time. I cre­at­ed my mot­to with the help of an Eng­lish teacher who knew Latin. Sem­per ipse ero. I will always be myself. Or the same ? That does­n’t equals. At the time, I prob­a­bly did­n’t under­stand the dif­fer­ence. Today, I still think about it. I was trans­port­ed by a danc­ing writ­ing that took as many paths as the mind could map.

They say that dis­ci­plin­ing your­self to write well can cure or pro­tect you from all ill­ness­es. I prob­a­bly want­ed this when I wrote the first drafts of my first five pub­lished texts. After­wards, I trans­posed them to the com­put­er. I would have to speak of six texts because the first one, Le Tri­om­phe des Eaux, was a long litany of out­pour­ings fol­low­ing a short but inci­sive first love hor­ror story.

When one is young at heart, every­thing is beau­ti­ful­ly a dra­ma. Of this text, only a few lines remained in La Vie dure.

Writ­ing by hand can be com­pared to walk­ing care­ful­ly through a labyrinth to find the way out. The words take time to form and look like so many hiero­glyphs pro­pelled by the uncon­scious moti­va­tion of cre­ativ­i­ty. And then there is the wrist fatigue that sets in, forc­ing you to slow down or pause the pace.

Since I’m left-hand­ed, my hand some­times absorbs ink that has yet to dry. I won­der if Ara­bic-speak­ing left-han­ders are not clean­er… although the left hand, in their case, it seems… at least in the Mus­lims. I mix every­thing up, con­fined to bias­es that spon­ta­neous writ­ing does not prevent.

In my uni­ver­si­ty days, I wrote long let­ters to a friend, long, pas­sion­ate out­pour­ings in which my desire for him was invari­ably lost in waves des­tined to crash against an unclimbable cliff.

I did­n’t reread it because, in any case, I could only cross out some­thing if I start­ed a new page.

I have always been more spon­ta­neous than that. The com­put­er usu­al­ly allows me this patience, but not for the texts of these Prom­e­nades.

I must now trans­pose, trans­form, knead or plow this text in its elec­tron­ic form even if there is noth­ing left, will be noth­ing left of all these texts thrown to my friend, and all these let­ters I wrote to a cousin, all these nov­els, and even these words hung here for a while in the eter­nal of the Internet.

I am and will be only myself. If my soul sur­vives me, I can­not know where it will end up. If it exists only for this moment, it is because it is an unfath­omable dream as frag­ile as the paper on which it is poured.