“I myself was torrent”

And so that day was the day of the great opening. Forgetting the tawdry images which as a matter of fact had disappeared, I gave up struggling and let myself be traversed by the fluids which, entering me through the furrow, seemed to be coming from the ends of the earth. I myself was torrent, I myself was drowned man, I was navigation. My hall of constitution, my hall of ambassadors, my hall of gifts, where the stranger is introduced for a first inspection–I had lost all my halls and retainers. I was alone, tumultuously shaken like a dirty thread in an energetic wash. I shone, I was shattered, I shouted to the ends of the earth. I shivered. My shivering was a barking. I pressed forward, I rushed down, I plunged into transparency, I lived crystallinely.

Sometimes a glass stairway, a stairway like a Jacob’s ladder, a stairway with more steps than I could climb in three entire lifetimes, a stairway with ten million steps, a stairway without landings, a stairway up to the sky, the maddest most monstrous feat since the tower of Babel, rose into the absolute. Suddenly, I could see it no longer. The stairway had vanished like the bubbles of champagne, and I continued my navigation, struggling not to roll, struggling against the suctions and pulings, against infinitely small jumping things, against stretched webs, and arching claws.

–Henri Michaux, Miserable Miracle

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