I am still only a tiny bubble hidden at the bottom of a moss carpet. As modest as I am, I still feel like the whole world. I have potential as they say.

It's been tickling all around for a while now. It's not unpleasant, but it's unusual. It makes all my senses alert. Suddenly, it tickles a little harder, but only in one place… I like it. It even makes me laugh. I don't know why, but right now, I really want to open my mouth and eat that tickle. And because I'm a spontaneous person… I do it.

I've eaten plenty of things since I was born, but never anything this big. I take the time to taste it to get to know it: it looks like a mini-me, but with a little sprout on top. This rootlet wiggles a lot, so I close my mouth a bit… Ploc, the appendix is stuck outside all alone.

I have just performed the first ablation of my life, which immediately provokes a mixture of pleasure and questioning. I suddenly have the immense power to act on something other than myself, but… did it hurt? In any case, the little ball I have just swallowed does not seem to have been formalised. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Now that it's in my stomach, I feel like I know it. In any case, we are very much alike. I'm no longer alone.

From that moment on, I die to myself. Together we become one, then two, then four,… until very soon I am too small to contain myself and I literally explode. This salutary blossoming allows me to continue to swell, and soon we are thousands and then billions.

The most amazing thing is that each of these pieces of my new meta-me knows exactly what to do. Without thinking about it (any more than I thought about going on a journey from my native bloom), each little creature wanders and structures itself in its own way, doing yoga poses, caressing the one next to it, staying with it for a long time or continuing to wander alone. Some are chubby, others dwarfish, spindle-shaped or snowshoe-shaped, hairy or striped…

The more sociable ones huddle together to form complex structures. The more adventurous prefer the high life, carrying various elements from one place to another. Others instinctively dedicate their existence to wandering around, carrying messages here and there. Some have an artistic soul and delicately draw a beautiful spongy mooring, while the more romantic ones flutter in unison in a small transparent blister.

They are all different, and yet they are all me. It doesn't matter that they are proliferating faster and faster, each division is in fact the expression of a deep movement that goes beyond me and seems inescapable: to separate in order to live, to differentiate in order to exist collectively. It never seems to stop. And yet, miraculously, some invisible conductor decides that the multiplication of bread has gone on long enough. It is now time to have a defined shape and to stop wanting more.

But this renunciation is not an end. Something much more subtle is still at work. I can feel the shuddering all the time, and while everyone goes about their business, details are being worked out all over the lace. I am now equipped with all sorts of appendages and orifices, much more varied than those of my original cocoon, and obviously capable of generating a cascade of feelings and movements that are perfectly surprising. I knew I had potential! I had to meet this other me to reveal it and open myself up to a new way of being alive.

I am waves. Oh, I always have been, but now they take on more nuanced forms, and collectively find a particular meaning. Some of us have been meticulously spitting water since the beginning of our adventure together, so much so that here I am now bathed in a blanket that is as liquid on the outside as it is on the inside. I taste myself, I drink myself, I swallow myself, I excrete myself, and I like it.

Each colony begins to beat at its own tempo: breathing here, pulsing there, filtering a little further. Flows pass through me from all sides, seeming to know exactly which way to go from one orifice to another, while some appendages begin to quiver in a very particular way. Some vibrations become light, heat, music. Little by little, the world is flooded with new sensations, each more astonishing than the last.

Most of the time, these perceptions are quite pleasant, and I enjoy discovering more and more new ones. But as they develop, an indefinable feeling grows with them. Something seems to be missing, but what? This is the first time something like this has happened to me: a latent discomfort that I am unable to shake off on my own.

What is certain is that we all feel this contraction. It spreads inexorably through us like a perfume, colonising even the smallest parcel of joy. Each one of us goes on with our work, shaping here, growing there, expanding into stars, cubes or tubes with a confident faith but increasingly tinged with an underlying doubt.

Up to now, we all knew spontaneously what we had to do to restore a momentarily broken harmony, whatever it was. So it is quite natural that my whole form sets out to dispel what is wrong. It pulls, it tenses, it purges, it moves. It instinctively uses all the means known to be effective in restoring serenity. But we have to face the facts: these efforts are in vain.

In fact, all this excitement seems to be having the opposite effect to what I was hoping for. The more I struggle, the more the tension increases. I suddenly feel totally helpless in the face of this contradiction. For as long as I can remember, everything has been rhythm and balance. I didn't even have to think about it, it just happened. But in the face of this emptiness, the nature and origin of which I do not recognise, my memory is no longer of any use.

However, it is the only tool I have. So after some fruitless trial and error, the solution emerges by itself. Since this diffuse absence is perceived, and obviously cannot be dissolved, it is an integral part of the overall balance. I come to accept it as I have accepted each of the other perceptions.

Life gradually turns into an ocean of contradictions: each of us continues to wriggle and strive to grow while skilfully curbing this movement so as to minimise its unpleasant effects. It becomes a real art to be without really being. Each of the pulses that had spontaneously set in learns to settle into a rhythm that is sufficient to live, but not so great as to cause the least discomfort.

The nameless emptiness has taken the place of the conductor. It now dictates the dance of fluctuations. It has the particularity of having neither centre nor contour, neither origin nor end. I am it now, and it is me. Every time I try to extract myself from it, I swallow myself. It is a nothingness and yet it is everywhere. So much so that I end up forgetting its presence, just as I have forgotten where the impulse that gives me life came from.

And it is because these two absences resemble each other and merge that everything becomes completely absurd. Each of the little bubbles that make up me persists in carrying out the task that has been assigned to it: reaching out to the one next to me, creating a bond with another, dancing together, communicating… But each of these spontaneous impulses inevitably comes up against lack.

Until then, they had scarcely felt that they were participating in a work greater than themselves, too much were they inhabited by the obvious sense of ineffable joy of being. Now, this omnipresent emptiness seems to have given them a vague awareness that they are separate from each other and that every instinctive impulse is also a source of discomfort for themselves and those around them.

I feel tight inside myself, like a prisoner of what I have become. An imperceptible ripple begins, which soon becomes an irrepressible rocking. The whole world begins to dance, gradually staining the surrounding muslin. Then the shaking becomes so strong that suddenly… I burst!

My liquid quilt suddenly disappears. I feel naked, but as I've been through this before, I know it's all for the best, it just opens up more space to keep growing. I'll just have to spit out some more water and everything will be fine. But soon I'll remember that you can't always trust your memory. The inconceivable happens: I choke. Once again, I am confronted with an ineffable absence.

The flow that was supposed to accompany me in this germination gradually turns into a fruitless agitation and then into desperate outbursts. By what strange reversal is a world that has been warm and alive until now drowning? The pulsation withers, ready to return to the place from which it mysteriously came, accepting without obstinacy that there is no place for it in this place and at this time.

Against all odds, I feel myself literally being sucked into a kind of gut that looks like me but is not quite me. As I slide down this gully, I can't help but remember the little bubble I swallowed when I was young. As the passage seems to be coming to an end, I have a vague feeling that the blob that has nourished me so far will remain outside, like the rootlet in its time. What is this other belly that has just swallowed me and amputated a part of me? Will I die again?