dreams and utopias

Receiving news from the world, starting the day with them, like many of us, is becoming increasingly difficult. Turning on the radio in the morning to accompany our ritual gestures often means starting the day with discomfort, and sometimes even a little embarrassment. Listening to what is happening in Ukraine, while drinking hot coffee or fragrant tea, engenders this feeling almost guilty of too many privileges.

And yet. It is, indeed, through this bond with others, distant and martyred, and through this daily discovery of the spread of Evil, that we are part of humanity, an integral part. Through this brutal, unbearable confrontation, with the ignoble cruelty of which man is capable, his unimaginable savagery, by this consciousness and this lucidity, we accept our human condition. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation … but acceptance comes at a price.

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Dostoevsky, who is in my career, the source of all my questions, the first literary shock, the brutal shock of what the human soul hides from a barbaric vertigo, offered me from the first moment, from of adolescence, an abused reading, with no escape or entertainment, a reading like a confrontation with the most raw and complex reality. Dostoevsky’s heroes reveal our part of darkness, the dreaded part, present in each of us, latent, “possible,” but they are also pursued by the best. They can yearn for forgiveness, redemption, love. They can suffer for each other.

Listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, watching television, is also discovering, in the chaos and murderous madness, mutual help, compassion: it is this journalist who suddenly grabs an old man who is crying in his arms, lowering the open microphone comforts the devastated man, in the middle of a devastated Ukrainian life and landscape.

It is these Polish women who travel thousands of miles by car to pick up women and children at the border, a female solidarity to frustrate the traps set by the mafia who, under the guise of protecting them, take charge of these exiled and destined for prostitution. Nets. It is these families, these individuals, from all over the world, who open their doors, welcome strangers and familiarize them. The soul of the world beats, like a heart.

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Who hasn’t seen these terrible images of Shanghai at night? Who has not heard, from the thousands of illuminated windows of the buildings of this megalopolis, the cries of the inhabitants imprisoned in their homes? (A total confinement imposed by the Chinese authorities with the disproportionate goal of zero Covid). These screams at night in Shanghai, and this drone spinning through the night streets and repeating with its mechanical and amplified voice: “Control your soul’s desire for freedom, don’t open the window and don’t sing,” sounds like science fiction. And yet … the locals are screaming. With all their being, they shout. His desire to live cannot be controlled or curbed. Even if it is repressed, by force.

This desire, this need, this vital need for freedom, has to do with the brotherhood that is manifesting itself today towards the Ukrainian people. Its roots are the same. It is the struggle for life. The force of the inalienable desire to live, to resist martyrdom, death, the denial of being, its obliteration. It’s the human song.

Seeing these images of planes, tanks, ships and weapons so sophisticated, so incredibly thought out and designed, “this rain of iron, fire, steel, blood”, as Jacques Prévert wrote, I think of all that these soldiers and civilians would have done if Putin had not decided on war. They would have read Jacques Prévert, maybe Dostoevsky, and so many others, they would have opened the windows wide and sung, they would have played, played sports, made jokes, taken naps under the trees, walked, made an appointment, for a coffee, an afternoon, a life, there would have been happy births, parties, inventions, holiday outings, a desire to change everything, dreams and utopias.

Dreams and utopias … When can we let them invade us again? When we can ask again, “No? Isn’t it possible?”, No longer horrified and terrified, but smiling with happiness, amazed and surprised: “No? It’s not possible? , run, run …

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