On the eve

While shepherds watched their flocks by night and were filled with the expectation of the Messiah, Aix-en-Provence, Bibliothèque Municipale, 15 (13th century)

What is there on the eve, on the day before, the moment just prior to? It is an expectation, the messianism of the great arrival, the belief that the moment which follows will set off a new beginning, will wash the past away into newness of life.

The anticipation is stronger than the arrival. The road is more exciting than the destination, on the eve we welcome the welcome moment, but we don’t say welcome! yet, we expect the arrival with excitement and thanksgiving.

On the eve there is faith and hope, faith in the arrival, hope in the strength of the promise. Paradoxically, faith and hope endure only as long as the expectation persists, and disappear as soon as the moment arrives, as soon as the adveniens turns to adventus, the arriving becomes arrived.

Some of us live as though there is no arrived arrival, as though the expectation is still on, as though the event keeps sliding over the horizon like the rising hot air in the dessert.

The promise lives on the eve, not on the day. Everything is possible on the eve of battle, the moment before everything becomes a foregone conclusion.

The future starts on the eve and dies on the day.

Keeping the hope alive, whatever your hope may be, happens on the Eve. As for the day after, viens, oui, oui.

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