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We ask ourselves, is having a baby an experience? Of course it is not not an experience, we think, but this expression strikes us as too weak. As if only one of the rooms in our apartment could ever be lit (even though it has large windows and we set up lamps everywhere). There is something seamless in our being with the baby, something indissoluble, that no light can shine on and that no darkness can cause to disappear. In our search for the sensory organ that would enable us to perceive it, we are distracted by our baby’s nose and by a mirage that appears to streaming out of it in the warm evening air (or are we just imagining this?).

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 In a cold wind and beneath a radiant blue (but rejecting) sky, we (the baby, I) walk undeterred through this first small autumn storm. We let leaves fall on us, let chestnuts and acorns rain down on us, let the wind whoosh in our ears, and don’t mind it when our eyes tear and our noses start running. We are similar: the sounds from our mouths are just sounds that waft away quickly. What we hear does not remain unheard, and what we see we gladly give back. And then, when we rest for a moment and chestnuts clatter down on us, we do not respond to this rage with the old passion. We are similar: we don’t collect.

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It is as is we have been dreaming this dream forever: becoming a baby. It is not a dream we tell others about (it is important to keep it to ourselves). The dream goes like this: We are who we are and then suddenly we are a baby. We are still the same and yet we are not the same, because we are a baby. We feel fine being who we are — as a baby. And we don’t want to ever stop dreaming this dream. We ask ourselves whether there there is one human being who does not dream this dream. We look at where our baby is sleeping (under a cinnamon canopy, which you sewed.)

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It is as if this fairytale were alive in us from early on: the fairytale of how the baby was overcome. A fairytale we are used to telling each other with a certain pride. Once upon a time we were a baby, the fairytale begins, and it ends with: And then came a day when we were no longer a baby. We were just like the baby, we tell ourselves, but now we are very different from the baby. It is a fairytale that makes us happy without enabling us to shake off our unhappiness. As we tell ourselves this story, we feel a little lonely. When we tell it to our baby, he gives us a steely look: Spare me your fairytales!

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We (the baby, you, I) observe with dismay the premature mobilization of babies. Everywhere hands are stretched down or up to offer support to the babies, as if no time were left to learn how to stand and walk. This haste strikes us as predatory. As if babies have been babies long enough, as if it were high time to drive the baby out of the baby. A strange reason occurs to us: we fear the baby. His way of being (of being whole) even fills us with anxiety. Only a persistent gaze at our baby can protect us from that.

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The teaching begins early (earlier than we always thought), begins with the baby’s first breath. This initial teaching is a wordless beginning: it begins with the body. When we are being taught (letting ourselves be taught), we should always remember: each teaching begins with the body. It is more capacious, more unfathomable than the greatest mind. This is hard to remember. It is hard to remain faithful to the miracle of our baby’s body (about which he himself makes not the least kind of fuss). Especially when the first teaching is: be silent.

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And then again something like this, oh baby: There is no tomorrow at all and yet we look forward to it every day! (To tomorrow with you!) It is not a joke, it is a realization, and realization is always freeing. Realization is not understanding or knowing (what it’s about), realization is not a skill or capacity. Thus we say: Freed of our belief in tomorrow, we look forward to tomorrow, and that is a delight. To be delighted in this way is a completely different kind of delight.  And we even say: Delight is realization. (Basically we are just squealing in exactly the same way our baby squeals when he discovers something and just can’t stop being delighted about it – but this we won’t reveal to him now.)