You can't look too far ahead. Do that and you'll lose sight of what you're doing and stumble. I'm not saying you should focus solely on the details right in front of you, mind you. You've got to look ahead a bit or else you'll bump into something. You've got to conform to the proper order and at the same time keep an eye out for what's ahead. That's critical, no matter what you're doing.
I found a Bill Evans record in the bookcase and was listening to it while drying my hair when I realized that it was the record I had played in Naoko's room on the night of her birthday, the night she cried and I took her in my arms. That had happened only six months earlier, but it felt like something from a much remoter past. Maybe it felt that way because I had thought about it so often-too often, to the point where it had distorted my sense of time.
Where I went in my travels, it's impossible for me to recall. I remember the sights and sounds and smells clearly enough, but the names of the towns are gone, as well as any sense of the order in which I traveled from place to place.
With Naoko gone, I went to sleep on the sofa. I hadn't intended to do so, but I fell into the kind of deep sleep I had not in a long time, filled with a sense of Naoko's presence. In the kitchen were the dishes Naoko ate from, in the bathroom was the toothbrush Naoko used, and in the bedroom was the bed in which Naoko slept. Sleeping soundly in this apartment of hers, I wrung the fatigue from every cell of my body, drop by drop. I dreamed of a butterfly dancing in the half-light.
What most moved me in his letter was the sense of frustration that permeated the lieutenent's words: the frustration of never quite being able to depict or explain anything to his full satisfaction.
It feels like everything's been decided in advance that I'm following a path somebody else has already mapped out for me. It doesn't matter how much I think things over, how much effort I put into it. In fact, the harder I try, the more I lose my sense of who I am. It's like my identity's an orbit that I've strayed far away from, and that really hurts. But more than that, it scares me. Just thinking about it makes me flinch.
More Haruki Murakami Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - Time - Life - Mind - People - Place - Death & Dying - Dreams - Sense & Perception - Thought & Thinking - Friendship - Books - Love - Imagination & Visualization - Education - Night - Age - Body - Happiness - View All Haruki Murakami Quotations
More Haruki Murakami Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
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- Norwegian Wood
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Voltaire - O. Henry - Niccolo Machiavelli - William Arthur Ward - Thomas Kuhn - Robert Louis Stevenson - Herbert Kaufman - Catherine Crowe - Anne Frank - Abraham Polonsky