Jacques Besse on morning

brokencompass2

My first pass at translating a beautiful passage from page 70-71 of La Grande Pâque:

It is after 6:30 in the morning. I take rue de l’École-de-Médecine. Oddly enough, I feel very close to where I am: I dream less and I am closer to mankind on the surface of the earth than to the sea creatures at great depths. I must admit that nature plays its part. The most beautiful creations of painters and filmmakers pale in comparison to the joy I take in this fact. In the damp and light silence of early morning, the layers of sky take a break from running around slowly in airy circles. The houses take the blame for their gray edges lingering without friction above blue-green vaults. The cold light enjoys the sudden warmth of time. The slabs of sidewalk lightly curving toward the center of the street straighten up as I pass by, but without me feeling a movement that I can describe. What is there other than positivity? We are without tools, without compasses, without levels – their inventors hide or are hidden, and so am I. The lenses for surveying and the electronic noses perhaps rotting in dusty corners, like me in the streets.

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