The Krakow Diaries

75 days in Krakow. On a literary grant from the German Kulturstiftung der Länder. In the Guesthouse of the 16th century Villa Decius, with 10 other writers from Poland, Germany, Belarussia, Ukraine and Georgia. Beautiful city. Nice Krakovians. Fun nightlife. Beautiful women. And in the guesthouse: Meetings of the minds. Too much vodka. Good friends. One of the great pleasures of my life.

Interlude: The Loading Bar

Toward the end of our stay, I asked Katja how much progress she was making in her project of finding herself. She said she couldn't attach a value to it. Germans are always avoiding questions by saying "I don’t want to generalize," or, "You can't express it in numbers."

I said, "Yes you can: If the project of finding yourself were a loading bar on a computer, at what percent would it be right now?"

She refused to answer that question for several days, but shortly before we had to leave, she gave me an answer: 80% I was surprised. I would think that of all of us, she would be least "loaded."

"But there's another loading bar going at the same time," she said. "Deloading. That's at about 50%."
I asked Kobus if the project of finding himself were a loading bar on a computer, where would it be now? He said: "At about 75%. But frozen there."
My Loading Bar:

If I had a "becoming myself" loading bar, I think it would be closer to 51%, 52%. Maybe that's not true. I am very set in my ways, I have strong opinions about who I should be and I am well into the second half of my life. Probably it should be about 80% or more. But I can’t bring myself to do that. I want it to go on and on. It feels like I have only recently earned the right to find myself ion the first place, or gotten on the right track. I want it to go much further than just another 20%, and I don't really care where.

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