Franz Kafka wrote in his diary:
October 19, 1921: Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate– he has little success in this– but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins, for he sees different (and more) things than do the others; after all, dead as he is in his own lifetime, he is the real survivor. This assumes that he does not need both hands, or more hands than he has, in his struggle against despair.
October 21, 1921. All is imagery– family , office, friends, the street, all imaginary, far away or close at hand, the woman; the truth that lies closest, however, is only this, that you are beating your head against the wall of a windowless and doorless cell.
January 24, 1922. Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.
I am reading “The Basic Kafka” and last night I came across these diary entries and realized that several times in my life and sometimes for long stretches, I have felt exactly the same way. But, what I can’t figure out is when I am not feeling this way am I just deluding myself, or when I am feeling this way am I just focused on the wrong things. I guess that whatever you are feeling is real for you at the time and if you can write it down, or say it clearly it speaks for others as well. You can hold it out and examine it more clearly by using someone else’s words to as a frame.