Beckett Lullaby

"There is no sleep so deep I would not hear you there." The footfalls, from one to nine, turn, from one to nine, mother hearing the daughter.

In Beckett's Footfalls, the mother narrates a conversation: "May: I mean, Mother, that I must hear the feet, however faint they fall. The mother: the motion alone is not enough? May: no, Mother, the motion alone is not enough, I must hear the feet, however faint they fall."

The dead are always speaking, in the historicity of language, there is no place so far you cannot be heard. The footfalls are the rocking of a lullaby, the world still here, gravity’s line, materialist’s soul, celerity’s path. This pacing is the most sombre form of dance, lacking the grandiose energy of a death march, but still choreography, that is, a dream of life spilling out from foot-work.

Blind Orpheus, looking for a place to die, sings a long, flat song, which simply wells up, the horizontal cry. Past is the time of harmony, of formal progressions. The rocking lullaby has found that place to die, as animals need to do, the person stilling themselves, singing out a line. In Beckett's "Rockaby", the Voice says:

    sitting at her window
    quiet at her window
    only window
    facing other windows
    other only windows
    all blinds down
    never one up
    hers alone up
    till the day came

Is it necessary to invent someone to pace back and forth, the footfalls which carry an atmosphere of world? Beckett's mother pacing at the top of the house. "Some nights she would halt, as one frozen by some shudder of the mind, and stand stark still till she could move again. But many also were the nights when she paced without pause, up and down, up and down, before vanishing the way she came."

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