In general, I try to distinguish between what one calls the future and “l’avenir.” The future is that which–tomorrow, later, next century–will be. There is a future which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. But there is a future, l’avenir (to come) which refers to someone who comes whose arrival is totally unexpected.
For me that is the real future: that which is totally unpredictable. The Other who comes without my being able to anticipate their arrival. So if there is a real future beyond this other known future, it is “l’avenir” in that it’s the coming of the Other, when I am completely unable to foresee their arrival.
–Jacques Derrida, “derrida” (2002)