Loli, the Time Has Come Publication date : October 3, 2013
Women have children and their children, in turn, have children. What happens, in the generational chain, between the woman whose life is ending and the little girl at the brink of life? Between the already ageing woman and the child who has not yet learned to speak?
Loli, le temps venu covers a relatively unexplored area in human relations, uncovering some singular emotions that shake up our usual vision of life.
This is a chronicle of passion, but it is also much more than that: it’s about love at first sight summoning up the immensity of time past and the infinity of time to come.
Throughout the narrative, I have tried to understand the ties between a grandmother and her granddaughter, the unreasonable, or perhaps exemplary, love of one for the other, worried as it is by questions about the origin of life and the future of the species, haunted by how little time it is accorded, and subjected to all the mirror effects of gender identity. But exhilarating, nonetheless.
You must be a good traveller to venture forth, with eyes wide open and a bared heart, on the terrain of such love. Joy and terror. It makes you review all your priorities; it reshapes your family configurations; you discover a new person in yourself; your friends and family no longer recognise you. The outside world looks different: the street, cars, parks, and the same goes for nature. Animals talk to you; the sky falls on your head several times a day.
But that’s nothing yet. Time whirls around, you become a baby or an old lady in a single second; you are sucked backwards to the forgotten time of your own childhood; the ghosts of your parents and ancestors arise without warning from the kingdom of the dead. But you’re also propelled into the future, you hurl out orders to your cells, your muscles, ordering them to carry you a bit farther; you run as fast as you can after a tiny silhouette that seems to be growing before your eyes; you run alongside her and sometimes far behind and sometimes far ahead, all at the same time — you no longer know. You’re alarmed; you’re filled with wonder.
And then fear grips you. You wish you had a magic wand to pacify the world’s terrible turmoil. You’d like to possess special powers; you wouldn’t scoff at Superwoman’s cape, which would enable you to fly off in a flash and rescue this defenceless creature. You can even imagine the asteroid, the one that the Earth will have to avoid colliding with, in 2029, as well as the one that may serve as a vehicle to transport humanity to another solar system, after the death of yours.
You have to guarantee humanity’s immortality, now that your loved one is part of it. You wish there was a safety perimeter; you set one up in your own head; you watch over it fiercely; you can hear it over space and time. Humanity will never be safe enough.
Through the existence of your granddaughter you’re committed, open, linked by a thousand channels to what surrounds her or flows through her. You adore the world because a child inhabits it. The experience is so unusual, so affecting, so thrilling, that it touches on the cosmic, nearly the sacred, and confounds the brightness and darkness of the world.
Have you gone mad? On the contrary, maybe you’ve never been so lucid, so sane, so very much alive.
Because it’s all been about putting human beings back where they belong, as part of the world.