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I had this epiphany. You know, when for the fraction of a second you have the feeling of understanding what would make you happy. But it quickly slipped through my fingers. As I am writing I am hoping to remember.

I was making bread. I was making bread and reading Lispectors. Sitting on a small stool in the kitchen. Going through the writer’s words, in between the different steps of bread making. The narrator’s voice was in my head together with my distress considering my bread clearly going wrong. Birds were at times coming into that birdhouse visible from the kitchen window. A friend was texting me, talking about her own bread and anxieties we both have. 

That thought erupted abruptly, as swift as I am recalling it right now. I was thinking; dream temporality, could be transposed to life! It sounds quite far-fetched, but then it was then crystal clear, for a second. However now, just by writing this sentence I come closer to that fraction-of-a-second revelation and I am hoping that, when I will reach the end of that text, I will find again that soothing feeling it provoked once. 

Let’s try to make sense of it. I learn bread making to have homemade bread on my table! I read Lispector to hear her story! I make a birdhouse to have birds coming into the garden! The mechanics of my thoughts; I think of it as distinct activities that necessarily bring a concrete finality. And that’s where I struggle. As individual actions and thoughts they aim at separate results. Without results; they are discarded as unsuccessful, or unachieved. 

But dreams, they don’t work like this. The narrative of the dream mostly never leads anywhere but I comprehend it as a primordial function for living. I can’t grasp or see the finality of a dream but I accept it as self-evident. Even nightmares are not failures. I understand them, whatever shape and logic they might take, as successful. 

Dreams are constant metamorphoses. They have the same consistency than this dough I was kneading. They change form and structure, but it all remains one. Places, identities, actions, times, ages being transformed, blurred, inconsistent. 

The trust of remaining one. When I am awake, I always have this feeling of spreading myself thin. But like in dreams, things feed each other. The baking of the bread is not disconnected to the reading of Lispector, which is not disconnected with the birds that I want to see at my window and that is not disconnected to the writing of this text. And if any of these actions come to a dead end, it doesn’t matter because they have fed each other into one thing. 

That one thing, I don’t grasp it, I don’t see it, but I should accept it as self-evident and successful anyway. 

Erika Roux