236

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

Just as animals are strangers to us (insurmountably alien: the closer we get to them the more obvious the alienness), they are quasi intimates to the baby. The animal and the baby come from the same realm, but the baby is not an animal. We encounter the same innocent gaze, a gaze for which we are no match. We cannot look without an ulterior motive (attempting to do so just proves that it is so). But at least we are able to recognize this look in others: Our baby and the dog meeting in aimless coincidence (in front of the bakery , the baby in his stroller, the dog far from his leash), a glance, exultation, loud and silent, two noses bump against each other, dry, wet, we know each other. A small exchange (of what?), and already out of sight. (Should we call back the dog to practice with him?)

235

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

Sometimes the baby shows us again the (perfectly round) look of consternation, which we remember from his first days. For a moment we feel almost affronted. This face looks at us in a way that does not permit us to find ourselves in it. Hey, you over there! it seems to say, and nothing more. But! we silently reply, and nothing more. At the same time we cannot escape his gaze, or the sadness we discern in it, nor the pain. And as we even feel ourselves drawn to it, the baby’s expression is transformed, first into kindness, then into mirth (our baby is waving a short little stick, beating something that does not in the least appear to be time).

234

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

Outrageous, we are sufficient unto ourselves!  Not entirely unexpectedly (or unwished-for), the reproach reaches our ears that we are depending solely on ourselves (you, me, the baby). That we want to produce greatness out of the smallness of our world. What truth about the world could possibly come from Three, when three million know so little! Do we intend to cast doubt on the security of tradition? Every thought, every experience needs a foundation in which it is anchored. Without the words of great poets and thinkers nothing can be conceived, or experienced. And so forth. Reproaches can be spun indefinitely. Then we realize: We ourselves are making them. Therefore nothing is easier than to reject them ourselves! (All this because we forgot to receive instruction with a glance at our baby. He does not believe in reproaches.)

233

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

Then, as our baby lies, happy and concentrated, on his red blanket with the white lilies, and we are sitting silently on the couch listening with astonishment to the modulations of his sounds, we (you, I) conceive the same thought: with the baby, a voice was born to us. A voice in which language practices itself – the language that came into the world together with the baby. But it isn’t practice, we realize then, it is a second birth (beginning with the conclusion of the first), and that birth goes on and will continue to go on for a long time (just as it goes on and will continue to go on for a long time in us). Maybe this is why: it is not the first birth of language, even though it sounds that way.

232

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

And then deep at night I stand by our hotel window gazing out at the empty street. I look at the blinking green light of the cash machine’s card slot and at the little red traffic light and the same red light on the bollard that bars unauthorized persons from entering the street. This red has such a strong effect on me, it makes me happy and elicits a rare (complete) desperation. I scarcely dare to turn away and look at the bed. And yet it happens. There lie our baby and you, with your heads leaning against each other, the straight bodies at an acute angle to each other: a living 1, with a gentle breath flowing through it. And indeed (I guessed it already) a downward glance reveals it to me: I am floating. Not by much, a hand’s breath at the most, but I’m floating.

231

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

Again in the rich city, I suggest we dream together. You agree without hesitation and instantly we enter the next coach to the residential palace. Our baby cheers when he sees the two horses, and cheers even more when their manes start flying in the air stream. Arrived at our destination, we decide it would be better to leave our baby with the coachman,for he gives no indication of being in the mood for dreaming. But the horses, I say, how old and exhausted they are, how tired and sullen. At that point you cry and I don’t know why. We wanted to dream and now you are crying, but it is not possible to dream with tears in one’s eyes. How can we ever dream, you sob, if the baby is not with us? What should we do, we shout (at the coachman up in his coachbox, who is trying to put a green hat like the one he is wearing on our baby’s head)? What should we do, since we have only a little time left before the dream ends.

230

Das erste Jahr Babybuddha jetzt auf:

http://www.hanser-literaturverlage.de/buch/babybuddha/978-3-446-25239-4/

oder über den Online-Buchhandel

An entire day in which nothing happens. Nothing. Not a trace of a happening. It is not easy to even notice this (we notice). We don’t even know how or by what signs we notice it. A day with our baby like all the other days and yet nothing happened. No sooner have we thought this than an event tries to sneak into our thoughts. In the past, without the baby, there were never any days in which nothing happened. Now, with the baby, there are such days. Then we think: Something is happening at every moment. And there’s something we nearly overlooked: our baby put his index finger on his lips.