Holy Friday – Sixth hour

Dear Kafka,

I was convalescing when I met your Joseph K.

I learned that he had done nothing wrong, or rather, at least, he believed so, and that despite this, or perhaps precisely because of this, he was arrested in his bed, without even knowing the accusation against him. He was a man who stood firm before the law and waited for it to take its course. However, the guardian of the law reveals to him that that door was open only for him and that in the end he would go and close it.

The palace of law represents the cumbersome justice of humans. You see, dear Kafka, they taught me that justice is not of this world, but of the other. And I, as a modest but dutiful priest, believed it. Now, it is true that justice is not of this world, but of the other? Justice is not based on the principle of truth, but on that of results. Everything that is not clear to the man of law cannot be considered as truth. And it is not possible to access justice and truth except through death.

Do not misunderstand me, dear Kafka, I am not saying that death in itself brings justice, I am just saying that death is not just by definition. Years ago, I met a boy named Nino who was arrested (I do not know if in his own bed or what) after a house search for drugs, the outcome of which was however negative.

The Judge did not confirm the arrest, believing that, since there was no clear evidence, it made no sense to him in detention. He was in his first criminal case and could calmly await judgment as a free man.

Nino was not afraid. He was a young man gifted with altruism and imagination, and he embarked on the multi-year wait without any particular effort.

He felt intimately serene, but not with that ostentatious serenity that guilty people boast of, but rather with that minimal tranquility that distinguishes honest people. He found a job and met a good, God-fearing daughter, whom he married with great pleasure. From their union a healthy and intelligent child was born, who grew up in serenity until the terrible machine of human justice came to definitively stop its pistons fat with neglect and returned to arrest him. The last degree of judgment, the one that should belong only to God and no one else, established that the poor man had to serve four years and three months in prison. Nobody looks at who we are, nobody.

It is true, dear Kafka, Joseph K. had done nothing. Yet he suffered the humiliation of the decision made, for him, by others other than him. And you describe very well the contrast between your protagonist’s sense of bewilderment and the hateful self-assurance of those who inflict on him the anticipated sentence of deprivation of freedom. Joseph’s looking around, dismayed, as he searches with his gaze (because he can no longer do so with his body) for a reason for all of this. However, there is no reason, only a higher will.

I do not know, my good Kafka, if you ever felt free, walking through the gardens of your Prague with Milena or Felice Bauer, on one of the first days of warm spring. If you have ever felt that sense of freedom that comes from belonging to someone or something, not because it is it who chooses us, but because it is we who choose it when, embracing it in the sublime dimension of welcome, we embrace ourselves in the dimension of amazement . God seduced me, and I let myself be seduced. In the tasty vertigo of seduction I found more than myself. A seductress woman can be seen, ultimately, as the eternal child. But no God, he is the Eternal par excellence. He is the guarantee that nothing changes in the world. “The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Yet God has changed. He has acquired (or, perhaps, he has never lost) a haughty attitude and the tone of a punisher.

For you have been saved by grace, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship.”

This is the written and immutable Word. Love made us and saved us. However, we have no merit in all this. We are just passive and hesitant spectators, while someone else shapes us in their own image and likeness.

I read in his “Metamorphosis” that Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into a repulsive insect. And in one night he is no longer himself. He is something other than himself. He becomes what is repugnant in his own eyes and in the eyes of the world. Gregor Samsa must have cried when he found himself like this, ashamed of his condition which, however, did not come from him. It was an external, alien, unknown, unexpected work. The apple that his sister throws at him sticks in his back and crushes him with her weight, while the woman rediscovers the meaning of her life by arching her back and showing herself proud and proud, in the pride of having given death.

I take my leave, Kafka, writing that whoever loses love loses itself. And that there is no second chance on this earth.

With love. Yours.