Jours de sable






Jonathan Kaplansky


Cormorant Books



For a long time I believed I had no history. No childhood. Scarcely a few memories, scattered and mostly ordinary. That spared me, perhaps, from returning to my childhood. If it does not meet up with world history, our history is only ever banal to us. Then one day, without that day being a coincidence, we enter one of the hundreds of simple little stories of our life and remember suddenly the other hundred forgotten, lost deep within us, that form a greater, more complex one. We then slowly decipher the signs found along our way and little by little begin to see, as our story is reconstructed for us, the extent to which each fragment carries within it the core of another, and that events imagined can never be anything but lived.

Childhood sometimes has too much pain, too much solitude, or sometimes too much happiness. We have a father, mother, brother or sister, and that is enough to create thousands of bonds. When the threads that tie us to our childhood break, we go into life with this initial baggage, seeking to recreate the picture, or else do everything not to reproduce it. Then one day comes, and we know this day is necessary, we open again our eyes and hands, and the memories abound, both simple and complex, each making the blood of our existence on Earth flow. We sink our feet into the sand, into the footsteps that created us, and time suddenly begins unfolding our story in reverse. We undo the knots of childhood, meet up again with our father, mother, the brother, sister that linked us to childhood or separated us from it, and slowly the horizon brightens.

Do we carry the flaws of other lives, of those generations that preceded us? Does the shadow of Edith’s secret reach my footsteps, up to the muddled traces of the name of her land or origin? I do not know much about Edith, Pauline, or even of Paule. These lives remain foreign to me, and even more does that of my mother.