WE CAME FROM BELOW
They would not let us in, and so we rose, indignant, from below. But we found we had left behind, all the way down there, fragments from an arm, a leg, another half, a flank. There lies the reason for the cripple’s limp in our step, the shiver in our crawl, the hiccough in our speech, the stutter in our coupling.
Those were olden times. In the beginning, we were a line. Before that, we were a smudge. Before that still we were a black dot. The painter took his brush and drew us out, and we turned into life.
Once we turned into life, we forgot the buried story that we had left behind. We began to search in earnest for an arm, a heart, another half. The ground shook, the waters shimmered, things became steadily embedded into the earth. As we descended, the Earth rose. As we rose, the Earth sunk deeper. We never even had the chance to check the time. We were not in that spot over there, we were here in this corner. We were not in this corner, but under this roof, and then, whoosh, we climbed the stairs, and here we are again before you. Suddenly we stand before you: come on then, pull, heave-ho, there you go! And our shadows plunge below the ground.
With the iron in our hand we struck a blow down the middle of the earth. The world might have cleaved in two, but instead turned empty and pure white. Before everything else, there was the white sheet of paper. I saw one half of me on the paper and I realised that the true ‘me’ remained underground, down below. That is why I lash out sometimes, why I am restless, why I behave in strange and unexpected ways. That is why we curse and complain. It is because sometimes the ‘me’ I carry inside reaches up from beneath and moves my hand, my arm, my leg, unheeding of my will.
We open our mouth and call out with all our strength to the half beneath the ground: let us not be left without shadow, without night. Let us not be left without the line, without sleep, without words. A dark shadow poured over us like black ink, and that was when we realised that they had not let us in, so we had risen from below...