Night of Fire

Today, because it is Wednesday, I would like to share with you an article about the last book I read. Although it is the 4th of July and the American Independence day, I will write about a book of a french author. And who other could that be less than Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, my favourite author?

The book I read is called “Night of fire” and I finished it yesterday. It is a short book of 191 pages that show us another side of the author. It is an autobiographical book that shows how did Schmitt found his way towards faith.

He was 28 when he left to Sahara desert together with a director, Gerard, in order to make a movie about Charles de Foucald, the mystique.

The general opinion of him was that people were only stardust, not being able to believe that there is a greater force that watches us from above. As a philosopher, he only believed in the touchable, visible things.

When getting there, the two of them decided to go on a trip to the desert with an organised group. On the way, he was only watching his way on earth, in the rocks, in the sand. One day, he got enthusiastic and started walking faster and faster, drunken by the magnificent sensation the the desert gave to him. And he got lost. When he realized, he was already too far for the other to hear him. Having only a few drops of water to survive, he decided to spend the night in the dessert.

He thought he will spend a peaceful night under the sand, but the destiny had prepared something else for him, something much greater than he had imagined. His life has changed drastically that night.

How did he escape that night from the dessert? Will he manage to find his way home in the great kingdom of the sand?

The book itself it’s pretty simple to read. Not many fancy words, not very long to bore you, not with deep meanings that you should think about. But it shows you loud and clear the fact that the one you are today might change overnight and you can became a totally other person. It shows the force that the nature has over us and the impact that hits you in your soul, and shows you that no matter how strong you think you are, you are not enough. It shows you that we can always get out of our superficiality and see the depths of our meanings, to look beyond the evident and to try to learn how to listen.

Published in 2015, the book reflects the desire of the author to make us aware of our mightiness, but at the same time of our weakness. It is not the first book in which he shows us the fact that each one can be something else. The same subject approaches in the book “The alternative hypothesis” in which he makes a parallel between what Hitler was and what could he have been if he would have been admitted to the art school. In both books he shows us that we are able to change our views and to transform from weak to strong, from good people to monsters, from atheists to believers, from superficial into wise persons.

I personally recommend the book to be read in the Sunday morning when you feel you don’t recognize yourself any more. Because this book makes you question yourself who you really are and discover that you are not who you think.

When I read the book, the feeling that I had was calmness, peace. It gave me the feeling that I am at peace with my life, but at the same time gave me the desire to find out more about who I really am. It made me think that all the desires that I had until now were desires of this world, the physical world. That I must learn how to develop also my soul.


Also I thought about the sky. Yes the sky. I though about how can I see the sky from the top of the mountain and how can I see the sky from my balcony. I realized that I am not actually free. Yes, I am free to think, I am free to decide, but I am not actually free enough to admire the stars any time I want, to breath the wind in it’s immense wildness, to smell the flowers crowded into a colored field, to hear the birds singing when I wake up. I am trapped into the prison of the city that, with all the benefits that gives me, it does not provide me with the liberty of being free. But it’s the life I choose, and I assume the fact that you cannot have it all. So I choose the commodity of the city to the detriment of the freedom to feel the nature.

Have you?

© picnicontheshelf, July 4, 2018

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