Agua Viva

Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector

Book: Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector Read Free Book Online
Authors: Clarice Lispector
that of the world. The illogicality of nature. What silence.
“God” is of such an enormous silence that it terrifies me. Who invented the
chair? It takes courage to write what comes to me: you never know what could
come up and scare you. The sacred monster died. In its place was born a girl who
lost her mother. I am very well aware I’ll have to stop. Not for a lack of words
but because those things and especially those I only thought and didn’t write—
cannot be said. I’ll speak of what is called the experience. It’s the experience
of asking for help and that help being given. Perhaps it was worth being born in
order one day to implore mutely and mutely to receive. I asked for help and it
was not refused. I then felt like a tiger with a deadly arrow buried in its
flesh and who was slowly circling the fearful people to find out who would have
the courage to come up and free it from its pain. And then there is the person
who knows that a wounded tiger is only as dangerous as a child. And coming up to
the beast, unafraid to touch it, pulls out the embedded arrow.
    And the tiger? Can’t say thank you. So I sluggishly walk
back and forth in front of the person and hesitate. I lick one of my paws and
then, since it’s not the word that then matters, I silently move off.
    What am I in this instant? I am a typewriter making the
dry keys echo in the dark and humid early hours. For a long time I haven’t been
people. They wanted me to be an object. I’m an object. An object dirty with
blood. That creates other objects and the typewriter creates all of us. It
demands. The mechanism demands and demands my life. But I don’t obey totally: if
I must be an object let it be an object that screams. There’s a thing inside me
that hurts. Ah how it hurts and how it screams for help. But tears are missing
in the typewriter that I am. I’m an object without destiny. I am an object in
whose hands? such is my human destiny. What saves me is the scream. I protest in
the name of whatever is inside the object beyond the beyond the thought-feeling.
I am an urgent object.
    Now—silence and slight amazement.
    Because at five in the morning, today July 25th, I fell
into a state of grace.
    It was a sudden sensation, but so gentle. The luminosity
was smiling in the air: exactly that. It was a sigh of the world. I don’t know
how to explain just as you can’t describe the dawn to a blind man. It is
unutterable what happened to me in the form of feeling: I quickly need your
empathy. Feel with me. It was a supreme happiness.
    But if you have known the state of grace you’ll recognise
what I’m going to say. I’m not referring to inspiration, which is a special
grace that so often happens to those who deal with art.
    The state of grace of which I’m speaking is not
used for anything. It’s as if it came only for us to know that we really exist
and the world exists. In this state, beyond the calm happiness that irradiates
from people and things, there is a lucidity that I only call weightless because
everything in grace is so light. It’s a lucidity of one who no longer needs to
guess: without effort, he knows. Just that: knows. Don’t ask me what, because I
can only reply in the same way: he knows.
    And there’s a physical bliss to which nothing else
compares. The body is transformed into a gift. And you feel that it’s a gift
because you experience, right at the source, the suddenly indubitable present of
existing miraculously and materially.
    Everything gains a kind of halo that is not imaginary: it
comes from the splendor of the mathematical irradiation of things and of the
memory of people. You start to feel that all that exists breathes and exhales a
most fine resplendence of energy. The truth of the world, however, is
impalpable.
    It’s not even close to what I can barely imagine must be
the state of grace of the saints. I have never known that state and cannot even
guess at it. It is instead just the grace of a common

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