the last level of an event just as a typhoon
And the more it took form, the more solid my core became, the more delicate and extravagant appeared the close, palpable reality out of which I was being squeezed. In the measure that I became more and more metallic, in the same measure the scene before my eyes became inflated. The state of tension was so finely drawn now that the introduction of a single foreign particle, even a microscopic particle, as I say, would have shattered everything. For the fraction of a second perhaps I experienced that clarity which the epileptic, it is said, is given to know. In that moment I lost completely the illusion of space and time: the world unfurled its drama simultaneously along a meridian which had no axis. In this sort of hair-trigger eternity I felt that everything was justified, supremely justified; I felt the wars inside me that had left behind this pulp and wrack; I felt the crimes that were seething here to emerge tomorrow in blatant screamers; I felt the misery that was grinding itself out with pestle and mortar, the long dull misery that dribbles away in dirty handkerchiefs. On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama. If at any moment anywhere one comes face to face with the absolute, that great sympathy which makes men like Gautama and Jesus seem divine freezes away; the monstruous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other the man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured—disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui—in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there to shut it off. All the while someone is eating the bread of life and drinking the wine, some dirty fat cockroach of a priest who hides away in the cellar guzzling it, while up above in the light of the street a phantom host touches the lips and the blood is pale as water. And out of the endless torment no miracle comes forth, not a microscopic vestige of relief. Only ideas, pale, attenuated ideas which have to be fattened by slaughter; ideas which come forth like bile, like the guts of a pig when the carcass is ripped open.
And so I think what a miracle it would be if this miracle which man attends eternally should turn out to be nothing more than something silly that happened in an instant with somebody else. What if at the last second, when the banquet table is set and the cymbals clash, there should appear suddenly, and wholly without warning, a silver platter on which event the blind come see that there is nothing more and nothing less than this little event. That, I believe would be more miraculous than anything which man has looked forward to. It would be miraculous because it would be undreamed of. It would be more miraculous than even the wildest dream because anybody could imagine the possibility but nobody ever has, and probably nobody ever again will.
And now, the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, in all my life I had been looking forward to anything happening, some intrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopeless of everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.