It may be a fantasy, but I like to imagine that the younger generations are looking for what we missed in those we held precious: not critique, but what can be offered; not outrage, but what might calm us down; not the amplification of alienation, but the search for what gives us a feeling of a possible life. We are willingly giving ourselves over to exploitation. These questions are invaluable, as Merleau-Ponty wrote, amidst the debris of an unknown celebration.
I learned to find equal meaning in the repeated rituals of domestic life. Setting the table. Lighting the candles. Building the fire. Cooking. All those soufflés, all that crème caramel, all those daubes and albóndigas and gumbos. Clean sheets, stacks of clean towels, hurricane lamps for storms, enough water and food to see us through whatever geological event came our way. These fragments I have shored against my ruins, were the words that came to mind then. These fragments mattered to me. I believed in them.