Honestly, I'm a Liar, & Other Balances & Imbalances

December 8, 2014

MEDITATIVE/ Kafka’s “The Way Home”

The Way Home

by Franz Kafka
Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir

See what a persuasive force the air has after a thunderstorm! My merits become evident and overpower me, though I don’t put up any resistance, I grant you.

I stride along and my tempo is the tempo of all my side of the street, of the whole street, of the whole quarter. Mine is the responsibility, and rightly so, for all the raps on doors or on the flat of a table, for all toasts drunk, for lovers in their beds, in the scaffolding of new buildings, pressed to each other against the house walls in dark alleys, or on the divans of a brothel.

I weigh my past against my future, but find both of them admirable, cannot give either the preference, and find nothing to grumble at save the injustice of providence that has so clearly favored me.

Only as I come into my room I feel a little meditative, without having met anything on the stairs worth meditating about. It doesn’t help me much to open the window wide and hear music still playing in a garden.

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