From the Blue Octavio Notebooks

by kkmeow

They did not know what we can now sense as we contemplate the course of history: that change begins in the soul before it shows in our lives.

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Living means being in the midst of life, seeing life with the gaze in which I have created it.

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We too must suffer all the suffering around us.

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Writing is a prayer.

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Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; dont edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.

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Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.

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People keep themselves at a tolerable height above an infernal abyss toward which they gravitate only by putting out all their strength and lovingly helping one another. They are tied together by ropes, and it’s bad enough when the ropes around an individual loosen and he drops somewhat lower than the others into empty space; ghastly when the ropes break and he falls. That’s why we should cling to the others.

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We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

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I am away from home and must always write home, even if any home of mine has long since floated away into eternity.

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May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air.

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In the fight between you and the world, back the world.

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Kafka

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