Car Accident: A Short Story

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I was 7, perhaps, or 8. Maybe older; time has faded some of the relevant facts, but others stand out the starker in comparison. My mother is sitting at our dining table, and it is late at night. She’s just come home, and others are seated around her: an aunt, and my father.

I’ve only passed through the dining room on my way to my bedroom. My aunt turns to me from where she has been listening to my mother talk of her night, and asks me, in Chinese, “Aren’t you worried? Your mother was just in a car accident!”

I shrug, keep walking. The shrug is more out of shyness and discomfort than anything else. Behind me, I hear my mother tell my aunt, also in Chinese, “See, she doesn’t care! She doesn’t care what happens to me.”

I kept walking, not looking back, and closed my bedroom door behind me.

I’ve never talked to my mother of that night, but it continues to come back to me at random moments, like tonight. You see, what I never told my mother, my aunt, or my father, was that I did not know the Chinese phrase for “car accident.”

I thought that my aunt had told me that my mother had been in heavy traffic. In my mind, that explained why she’d gotten home so late, and so I summarily dismissed the matter from my mind.

There are many things one might draw from this memory. I’ve gone through them all. But, tonight, I just wanted to record it here. A small scrap of a memory, but significant all the same.

Categories: life, memories, writing

Lost in the woods – Part 1

January 20, 2012 2 comments

(I’ve been sitting on this story for days, wondering if I should attempt to finish it before posting. I think I’ll try submitting this in parts. It’s getting pretty long, anyway. Also, this is one of two stories I’ve started writing, based partially on a comment Max made to me while I was home for the holidays. I’d taken a few pictures of our wooded backyard to show him, and he’d noted how deep the woods ran…)

I stopped and leaned heavily against a tree, trying to catch my breath. My throat was dry from breathing in the cold, crisp winter air, and from striding quickly up and down rocky wooded hillsides for an hour.

An hour. I swallowed the threat of panic that the thought brought with it. Instead, I straightened up and took stock of my surroundings, peering around for any familiar landmarks.

Trees. Trees, rocks, and more trees. Everything painted in the same dreary greys and browns of New England winter. For the hundredth time, I cursed aloud to myself for letting my mind wander as I hiked through the woods – childhood woods that I’d practically grown up in. I’d come out of my reverie to see, with shock, how low the sun was, and had promptly turned around, thinking I’d be back at the house well before sunset.

It was only after walking for half an hour that I’d grown anxious. Surely I hadn’t wandered this far into the woods? Perhaps just over this next hill…

But no. After I had crested that hill, only more woods came into view. That was when I’d become truly worried. I had agreed to housesit for my mother while she was out of town, grateful for a brief respite from the city grind. I’d come to appreciate the stillness that living in a small rural town offered after moving to San Francisco. Why not give myself a little vacation after having worked steadily these past two years?

To think that I’d get lost behind the woods of my mother’s house on the second day of my vacation. There wasn’t even anyone waiting for my return, nor to come looking for me after realizing I’d been gone too long. I sighed loudly, cursing again. I had stopped checking my phone for a signal half an hour ago, opting instead to turn it off to preserve its battery. In the twenty-odd years that my mother had lived here, the cell phone signal in our area had never changed. That is to say, there never was one.

The quiet stillness that I’d been so looking forward to took on a more malignant air here, where I couldn’t even hear any birdsong. I started walking again, trying to ignore the fact that the air was growing chillier as the sun sank lower in the sky.

I aimed for elevation, thinking – hoping – that if I got high enough above the treeline, I could at least spot a road or rooftop. The terrain was rocky and, despite there being no snow, the leaf layer was slippery underfoot. As I climbed up towards a rocky outcrop, I could feel my calf muscles straining. I reached the top of the crag and sat down to rest.

The landscape remained unchanged; a sea of grey, leafless branches stretching out to infinity. I could feel the panic welling up in my throat, harder to swallow back this time. I felt like screaming, if only to give voice to all that panic and anxiety. I bit my lip to stop myself. I couldn’t lose it, not now.

Where the hell was I? Curse these damnable woods!

“Hello?”

I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sound of another human voice. I’d been so distracted and distraught, I hadn’t noticed the footsteps behind me. I spun around.

Standing a few feet away from me, a slim hiking stick resting in one hand, was a man in a faded leather jacket. A small hiker’s backpack rested on his shoulders, and the other hand held lightly onto one strap. A short beard framed his face. I was still sitting and found myself having to look up at him. His brow was furrowed, and as I scrambled to my feet, he asked, “Are you hurt?”

His voice was gruff and low, and, if I had not felt such relief at being found by someone, I might have noticed an edge to his words. I shook my head.

“No, but I think I’ve gotten a little turned around. Thank goodness you found me! Could you point me back to the main road?”

“Of course. If you just head that way, you’ll find an old logging road about a fifteen minute’s hike away – ” He gestured off to my right with his hiking stick, and I turned to follow the direction he was pointing in.

The stick caught me in the ear. My head jerked back – in surprise more than pain, – and I stumbled. Before I could fully register what was happening, I felt a hand grab my wrist and pull it sharply up behind my back. My shoulder screamed, I arched my back, and I buckled as he put weight against the arm.

I landed jarringly on my knees. The man gave a short, sharp push of my caught arm, and I fell the rest of the way, my face landing in a pile of leaves and dirt. His knee dug into the small of my back, pinning me down against the forest floor. My brain finally caught up to the danger I was in, and I screamed as loudly as I could.

My ears rang. Any attempt to struggle made my shoulder seize in pain. His grip around my wrist was vice-like, and I heard myself pleading with him as he twisted my other arm to my back.

Why are you – ? Please, no – please don’t hurt me… What do you want?

His only response was to dig his fingers into my hair and pull my head back. I felt the cold air brush against my exposed throat and shuddered. He did not say a word, did not try to stop my screaming. Instead, he was tying something around my hair in a rough, tight ponytail. Then I felt the same material being wrapped tightly around my wrists. It felt like twine, a thin length digging painfully into my skin.

I whimpered. The cold sharpened the pain in my shoulder and the added pain from whatever bound my wrists to my hair.

With a final, cruel tug, he finished binding my wrists, and I finally felt him take his weight off the knee in my back. He ran his hands down the sides of my waist, then hooked two fingers through the belt loops of my jeans and pulled.

No!

This renewed my attempts to struggle, and I twisted my hips wildly and kicked out, trying to dislodge his hands. His knee came down hard again, knocking the wind out of me. He leaned over my body until I could feel the bristles of his beard brushing against my cheek. I felt his breath warm my skin as he finally spoke again.

Scream and struggle all you want, girl. There’s no one around us for miles. There is no logging road.”

My whole body convulsed as the weight of his words sank in. I shivered, feeling his hands return to my waist. The cold air hit my hips and ass as he slid the jeans off.

Categories: fantasy, winter, writing

Internet Blackout #SOPAStrike

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

As you are hopefully already aware, the U.S. Congress is planning to vote on two bills on January 24th, 2012: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives, and a corresponding PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate.

I could write on the dangers that such a vague bill, written and co-sponsored by frankly technology-illiterate politicians, poses for a free and open Internet in general, and more specifically for many of the people in my personal sphere and for myself. A vague bill means innumerable opportunities to abuse the laws written in it in the interests of whoever can pay the legal fees.

I could write about all of this, but others have already written much more eloquently and clearly than I could. Here are some resources. I hope you will read and sign the petition. Today, January 18th, many sites will be on a blackout strike to make their own opinions on SOPA/PIPA clear.

The proposed bills:

Articles and letters on the proposed bills:

Petition sites:

A very small selection of the sites that are participating in the blackout strike:

[Edits:]

Interesting new development: a comment made by reddit user owsmanifesto.

Here is the full text of the bill they referenced: H.R. 1981

Categories: admin, geekpost, links

Just…

November 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Just hurt me.

Just fucking hurt me already.

Categories: ethereal

The first

October 9, 2011 Leave a comment

It was the beginning of second grade. My mother had signed me up for an after-school program, which I was highly dubious about and expressed little enthusiasm for. I think I cried and stomped my foot a lot the first day I had to go. But the arts and crafts drew me in, and I loved my after-school teachers. I would end up attending that program until I was in my early teens.

This is where I met him – I’ll call him the Writer. He was a strange, quirky boy, with odd habits and beliefs. He had an amazing imagination and read voraciously. We got along quite well.

We saw each other daily after school. He taught me how to play chess, including the four-move checkmate I remember as the Blitzkrieg. I drew pictures and concocted drawing games for us and the other after-school kids to play. He wrote short stories – dark, strange stories that often fell into the category of horror or detective thriller. We pored over video game magazines that he brought in; took turns at beating levels and bosses on my black and white Gameboy. We may or may not have reenacted character moves from Mortal Kombat on the playground.

There was a certain period of time wherein our friendship solidified and strengthened. Sometimes, we would simply walk around the school track, just the two of us, talking about nothing at all. Yet we never saw each other outside of the school grounds, never went over to each other’s houses.

So, as we grew older and outgrew that after-school program, we saw less and less of each other, unless we happened to be in the same class for a certain subject. What had seemed like such a close friendship suddenly became awkward and uncertain.  The Writer had his friends, and I had mine. There was no overlap, despite the fact that we were both social outliers.

Had I been better informed and more self-aware at the time, I may have realized earlier that we were both kinky. At least, all my memories of the Writer lead me to believe he was (is?) very, very kinky. Besides his short stories involving naked, writhing women in caves, there was a natural power dynamic underlying our early relationship – except that I was often the one chasing him around the playground, trying to catch him and pin him down.

I would have also realized that our mutual awkwardness were telltale signs of the crushes we had on each other, rather than signs of a faltering connection.

Now, almost a decade later, I can’t help but wonder where life has taken the Writer and whether he has had any kinky relationships. We are still tenuously connected – in that we are friends on a few social networks – and it is exactly these sorts of connections that keep me from deleting my social media accounts altogether. We’ve even corresponded once or twice, tossing around ideas of a creative collaboration with his words and my artwork. Nothing’s come of those brief exchanges yet, but lately he has been on my mind again.

I wonder if I should ping him again – perhaps when I am next back on the East Coast, where he still lives. I wonder if I should even attempt to meet up with him, to see if he is at all the person I remember him to be. I wonder if I would be disappointed by our meeting, or if perhaps I’d see a familiar, mischievous glint in his eye and feel some of that old chemistry again.

Given how busy my life already is these days, it seems foolish to even be thinking of this. But, given that the Writer is my longest-standing crush, it seems sad to leave such a cliffhanger in my past. Either something might still spark between us, and at the very least I’d regain a lost friendship, or we will both have changed and branched off in completely different life directions as to be incompatible, even as friends. But, whatever the case, at least there might be some resolution to this chapter of my life.

Right?

Categories: firsts, life, memories, reflection

Face

October 1, 2011 1 comment

Ever hear of the concept of “keeping face” or “losing face”? The latter was a prominent part of my upbringing as a child of Chinese parents. It was only while researching face as a social construct for this post that I discovered the English took the term directly from China around 1900. I found it fascinating that, according to Wikipedia, “saving face” was coined by the English as a counterpart to “losing face”, and that it didn’t exist in common usage in Chinese. Certainly, the only phrase I’ve encountered regarding face had to do with losing it – roughly translated, it speaks of deep embarrassment, humiliation, shame, and loss of identity/social standing.

Face is an interestingly complex and pervasive concept, and though some aspects are familiar to other cultures, it doesn’t translate exactly. Face is strongly linked to social reputation and value – esteem held in the eyes of others. And, having lost it, it is very difficult to gain back. The phrase in Chinese is 丟臉 (diu lian). 丟 (diu) is a verb meaning to lose or throw [away].

I’ve been thinking about this lately as it plays out in my adult life and in my relationships. Really, it’s only been recently that I even began digging deeper into the psychological influences that my culture, heritage, and upbringing have had on me. During the last year of college, I started attending events and lectures held by the Pan-Asian group on campus, and I was stunned to see parts of my life so clearly and cleanly dissected.

Because, as it turns out, this innocuous little thing, face, affects virtually every aspect of my life. It’s the reason I was always afraid to participate in school (see second linked article above). It’s affected my ability to accept well-meaning advice and criticism from others – in fact, I have a difficult time seeing things as constructive criticism rather than as a personal jab. I am frequently searching for the true meanings to words said, rather than accepting them at face value (no pun intended).

As a Chinese kid growing up in America, I often saw my parents’ social interactions as two-faced. I read their actions as hiding any evidence of possible embarrassment while projecting a perfect, unmarred image to others. When it had anything to do with me, I felt like my emotions were being dismissed, hidden, and denied acknowledgement – all for the sake of keeping face. It infuriated me, so I acted out against it: I refused to hide my emotions and wore them openly on my sleeve.

At the same time, I was also learning to hide my imperfections from view, lest they open me to humiliation from others. It’s still prevalent – I have a hard time admitting when I’m wrong, or when I don’t know the answer to something. And it’s incredibly difficult for me to dissociate asking for help from failure. I remember, whenever I had difficulty with some academic problem or project, I would ask my parents for help, but it never occurred to me to ever ask for help from my friends. And my mother was very good at accentuating feelings of competitiveness with and isolation from my peers; my successes and accomplishments were always compared against the performance of other students. (“Did anyone else get higher marks? How many other students scored that well?”) Success only existed within that kind of context.

The day I graduated from high school, during the meal I shared with a few friends of the family to celebrate my graduation, my mother confronted me about the fact that, not only was I not valedictorian, I wasn’t even in the top ten GPA scores. The principal had called out the names of those top ten students, and my mother had been ashamed that I was not listed.

It’s not hard to see why humiliation has never been high on my list of kinky interests. Humiliation is a social phenomenon for me, and the mere idea of an audience viewing me as having lost face is unbearable. It’s the same for punishment. I will probably never be able to eroticize either of these things. Failure is not sexy.

On a broader scale, I’m only just starting to realize how differently I communicate and hear others’ words as compared with (non-Asian) people. Given the myriad layers and subtleties to the way things are discussed, it’s easy to view a lot of this as passive aggressiveness. I’ve thought of it that way myself. But what I’ve been taught and what I’ve grasped from watching my family members interact is that being direct is incredibly rude, and confrontation is to be avoided in order to save face. I am still often quick to judge someone’s directness as being crass and uncivil. And I’m only starting to realize how the difference in communication filters affected the relationships I had with my childhood friends and peers.

All of the subtext and filters makes it really easy for me to take things personally. A quick example: “You did this incorrectly” becomes interpreted as “Wow, do you actually know what you’re doing? Why aren’t you better at this?”

This year’s Paradise Unbound was a sharp lesson in miscommunication. I quickly realized that, by avoiding conflict and minimizing my own expectations, I wasn’t getting my needs met. When I was given openings to start a dialogue about what was going on inside my head, I shut down and couldn’t respond, unwilling to admit that I was having issues. And when I tried to talk things out, it was often with subtext that wasn’t picked up on.

My personal level of stubbornness, and a longstanding belief that I shouldn’t/can’t rely on others to fulfill my needs, didn’t help matters any.

I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between the two extremities – being incredibly emotionally open as a child, then reverting to hiding my emotions and remaining distant in high school and college. Now, a half-dozen relationships and several years later, I’m trying to find a stabler, more effective middle ground.

Some of that means learning to be much more direct about my needs and conflicts, and the mere thought makes me vastly uncomfortable. It means breaking through 25 years of cultural walls and learned behaviors. This past weekend, I had a near breakdown just trying to ask for some time alone with Max post-Folsom. I did manage to, a little bashfully, right before running off to work the last morning we spent together, but I had spent two weeks thinking about that question.

It has been a journey full of bumps and bruises so far. Unfortunately, it’s probably not going to get much smoother in the near future. This stuff is hard. Really, really hard.

(Some disclaimers: obviously, I’ve made a bunch of generalizations. I know one doesn’t have to be Asian to have gone through something similar – just ask any Jew – but this is simply the lens through which I can explain some of what I’ve gone through. I spent a lot of my life pretending that being Asian made me no different, that I wasn’t affected by my race. That’s bullshit, and I’m belatedly catching up on just how much my ethnicity shapes my life and perceptions of the world.)

Categories: life lessons, links, reflection

On Cutting

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

So, I haven’t written anything about Paradise – here, at least. Privately, I’ve typed up over 44 pages in a journal describing my latest trip to Seattle.

I wish I could say my fears over how Paradise would turn out were for naught, and that I had a grand time being kinky out in the sun and making mischief. It ended up being a difficult week, for a number of reasons. Things definitely took a downward turn, for instance, when I woke up my first morning at Paradise with a UTI.

It’s been 22 days now since I asked for, and received, a cutting from Phoenix. When I approached her that Saturday morning, I was feeling lost, powerless, and maybe just a little crazy. It was reminiscent of how I often felt as a teenager. It’s a terrible state of being.

I’ve “blamed” my decision to ask for the cutting on impulsivity and the need for catharsis. With a little more hindsight, I think it would be more accurate to say now that I needed to take back control – of something. I needed to do something drastic that would leave a permanent impression. A reminder.

Just a little over a year ago, I cut my hair seven inches shorter for that same set of reasons. Control. Action. Change.

That’s not to say catharsis didn’t play a role in the process. I did get some level of release during the cutting. The excruciating pain of having my skin cut open, over and over again, gave me permission to grieve in a way that I couldn’t otherwise. It was an outlet for all my baser emotions. I cursed, screamed, cried, and howled. I did not try to moderate the volume of my voice. I did not care that others could see me crying. I let all of my filters go during that hour.

Phoenix told me afterwards that I would continue to feel the effects of the cutting for weeks, that that was only the beginning. The process of release takes a long time. And it’s true. 22 days later, and I still feel the reverberations of that day echoing through me. Although the cutting has long since healed and the skin is no longer sensitive, its presence on my left shoulder is as strong as it was at Paradise. And, though it sometimes makes me sad to remember the circumstances surrounding it, I don’t regret having this flying fish as a constant companion on my back. It seems like a silly sentiment to admit, but I feel that it has grown with me, like a close friend.

It will be interesting to see how that companionship grows, and whether the cutting will persist or fade away completely.

Catharsis at Paradise

August 25, 2011 3 comments

A story told in images:

Communion

Flight

Healing

Categories: firsts, hope, life lessons, love, photos

Eek

July 30, 2011 1 comment

I keep thinking I should write something here – anything – so as not to let this blog stagnate. Then today I happened to glance at my stats page, and did a double-take at the spike I saw in traffic. Thanks, Jane’s Guide, for the link and review!

So I guess I haven’t been here in a while. What’s new, world? I don’t think I can even begin to summarize everything that’s happened since I last posted, in (cringe) April. I find myself writing less and less, in general, and drawing less as well. Actually, since SEAF, I haven’t felt an ounce of drive to do much of anything creative. Except make myself a new whip, but that’s been a long time coming, anyway.

Life is far from mundane, however. During Max’s most recent visit, we delved deep into a very intense, psychological kind of play; the kind I’ve only ever dreamed of from afar, too afraid to even name it or peer too closely at it. This has opened up all sorts of doors for me, and it’s unleashed a hunger for more that I can’t contain – and don’t want to. There is a sweetness to the brutality I experienced, that I could experience because of my trust in Max, that is, frankly, addicting. And there is joy, too, at knowing how completely and utterly I am able to lose control, have it drawn out of my body like blood, through Max’s ministrations. As someone whose internal monologue is never shut off and whose need to maintain control can be inhibiting, that kind of release is nirvana.

And then there’s T the Programmer, a new partner that I’ve been seeing for a few months now. This means I’m now a fully practicing polyamorist, no longer merely espousing theory and concept. And – yeah, it’s complicated. It’s made me question myself many times, but when it’s been good, it’s been very, very good.

I’ve also been dabbling in what is essentially drag king dress-up, which has been exhilarating and has thrilled me in a way no dress or skirt ever has. I put together a “dapper gentleman” outfit for one night of SEAF, with help and encouragement from Max. A month later, a revised version of that outfit came out again for Pride, when T the Programmer and I did a bondage demo/performance while I was in full drag. I have a feeling this is just the tip of the drag iceberg for me.

Now, I am a week away from the upcoming Paradise Unbound kinky camping event, and before that I’ll be staying with Max and attending his monthly Bondage series workshop. It promises to be an activity-filled trip with many moving parts, and while I’m wary of the poly-related challenges that are bound to crop up while I’m out in the woods, I’m hoping for the best.

[Edited to update T’s name to the Programmer – I’m so bad at coming up with monikers for the people I write about here. – 10/16/2011]

Categories: admin, links, polyamory, submission

The Taming of the Fox

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Chapitre XXI


C’est alors qu’apparut le renard.

-Bonjour, dit le renard.

-Bonjour, répondit poliment le petit prince, qui se tourna mais ne vit rien.

-Je suis là, dit la voix, sous le pommier.

-Qui es-tu? dit le petit prince. Tu es bien joli…

-Je suis un renard, dit le renard.

-Viens jouer avec moi, lui proposa le petit prince. Je suis tellement triste…

-Je ne puis pas jouer avec toi, dit le renard. Je ne suis pas apprivoisé.

-Ah! Pardon, fit le petit prince.

Mais après réflexion, il ajouta :

-Qu’est-ce que signifie “apprivoiser”?

-Tu n’es pas d’ici, dit le renard, que cherches-tu?

-Je cherche les hommes, dit le petit prince. Qu’est-ce que signifie “apprivoiser”?

-Les hommes, dit le renard, ils ont des fusils et ils chassent. C’est bien gênant! Il élèvent aussi des poules. C’est leur seul intérêt. Tu cherches des poules?

-Non, dit le petit prince. Je cherche des amis. Qu’est-ce que signifie “apprivoiser”?

-C’est une chose trop oubliée, dit le renard. Ca signifie “Créer des liens…”

-Créer des liens?

-Bien sûr, dit le renard. Tu n’es encore pour moi qu’un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n’ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n’a pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu’un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde…

-Je commence à comprendre, dit le petit prince. Il y a une fleur… je crois qu’elle m’a apprivoisé…

-C’est possible, dit le renard. On voit sur la Terre toutes sortes de choses…

-Oh! ce n’est pas sur la Terre, dit le petit prince. Le renard parut très intrigué :

-Sur une autre planète ?

-Oui.

-Il y a des chasseurs sur cette planète-là ?

-Non.

-Ca, c’est intéressant! Et des poules ?

-Non.

-Rien n’est parfait, soupira le renard.

Mais le renard revint à son idée :

-Ma vie est monotone. Je chasse les poules, les hommes me chassent. Toutes les poules se ressemblent, et tous les hommes se ressemblent. Je m’ennuie donc un peu. Mais si tu m’apprivoises, ma vie sera comme ensoleillée. Je connaîtrai un bruit de pas qui sera différent de tous les autres. Les autres pas me font rentrer sous terre. Le tien m’appellera hors du terrier, comme une musique. Et puis regarde! Tu vois, là-bas, les champs de blé? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c’est triste! Mais tu a des cheveux couleur d’or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m’aura apprivoisé! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j’aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé…

Le renard se tut et regarda longtemps le petit prince :

-S’il te plaît… apprivoise-moi! dit-il.

-Je veux bien, répondit le petit prince, mais je n’ai pas beaucoup de temps. J’ai des amis à découvrir et beaucoup de choses à connaître.

-On ne connaît que les choses que l’on apprivoise, dit le renard. Les hommes n’ont plus le temps de rien connaître. Il achètent des choses toutes faites chez les marchands. Mais comme il n’existe point de marchands d’amis, les hommes n’ont plus d’amis. Si tu veux un ami, apprivoise-moi!

-Que faut-il faire? dit le petit prince.

-Il faut être très patient, répondit le renard. Tu t’assoiras d’abord un peu loin de moi, comme ça, dans l’herbe. Je te regarderai du coin de l’oeil et tu ne diras rien. Le langage est source de malentendus. Mais, chaque jour, tu pourras t’asseoir un peu plus près…

Le lendemain revint le petit prince.

-Il eût mieux valu revenir à la même heure, dit le renard. Si tu viens, par exemple, à quatre heures de l’après-midi, dès trois heures je commencerai d’être heureux. Plus l’heure avancera, plus je me sentirai heureux. À quatre heures, déjà, je m’agiterai et m’inquiéterai; je découvrira le prix du bonheur! Mais si tu viens n’importe quand, je ne saurai jamais à quelle heure m’habiller le coeur… il faut des rites.

-Qu’est-ce qu’un rite? dit le petit prince.

-C’est quelque chose trop oublié, dit le renard. C’est ce qui fait qu’un jour est différent des autres jours, une heure, des autres heures. Il y a un rite, par exemple, chez mes chasseurs. Ils dansent le jeudi avec les filles du village. Alors le jeudi est jour merveilleux! Je vais me promener jusqu’à la vigne. Si les chasseurs dansaient n’importe quand, les jours se ressembleraient tous, et je n’aurais point de vacances.

Ainsi le petit prince apprivoisa le renard. Et quand l’heure du départ fut proche:

-Ah! dit le renard… je pleurerai.

-C’est ta faute, dit le petit prince, je ne te souhaitais point de mal, mais tu as voulu que je t’apprivoise…

-Bien sûr, dit le renard.

-Mais tu vas pleurer! dit le petit prince.

-Bien sûr, dit le renard.

-Alors tu n’y gagnes rien!

-J’y gagne, dit le renard, à cause de la couleur du blé.

Puis il ajouta :

-Va revoir les roses. Tu comprendras que la tienne est unique au monde. Tu reviendras me dire adieu, et je te ferai cadeau d’un secret.

Le petit prince s’en fut revoir les roses.

-Vous n’êtes pas du tout semblables à ma rose, vous n’êtes rien encore, leur dit-il. Personne ne vous a apprivoisé et vous n’avez apprivoisé personne. Vous êtes comme était mon renard. Ce n’était qu’un renard semblable à cent mille autres. Mais j’en ai fait mon ami, et il est maintenant unique au monde.

Et les roses étaient gênées.

-Vous êtes belles mais vous êtes vides, leur dit-il encore. On ne peut pas mourir pour vous. Bien sûr, ma rose à moi, un passant ordinaire croirait qu’elle vous ressemble. Mais à elle seule elle est plus importante que vous toutes, puisque c’est elle que j’ai arrosée. Puisque c’est elle que j’ai abritée par le paravent. Puisque c’est elle dont j’ai tué les chenilles (sauf les deux ou trois pour les papillons). Puisque c’est elle que j’ai écoutée se plaindre, ou se vanter, ou même quelquefois se taire. Puisque c’est ma rose.

Et il revint vers le renard :

-Adieu, dit-il…

-Adieu, dit le renard. Voici mon secret. Il est très simple : on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

-L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, répéta le petit prince, afin de se souvenir.

-C’est le temps que tu a perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.

-C’est le temps que j’ai perdu pour ma rose… fit le petit prince, afin de se souvenir.

-Les hommes on oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l’oublier.Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé. Tu es responsable de ta rose…

-Je suis responsable de ma rose… répéta le petit prince, afin de se souvenir.



From Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Categories: links, love, memories, reflection