Haruki Murakami Quotes (242 Quotes)


    When someone is trying very hard to get something, they don't. And when they're running away from something as hard as they can, it usually catches up with them.


    It's basically impossible for everybody's justice to prevail or everybody's happiness to triumph, so chaos takes over.


    A regular wind-up toy world this is, I think. Once a day the wind-up bird has to come and wind the springs of this world. Alone in this fun house, only I grow old, a pale softball of death swelling inside me. Yet even as I sleep somewhere between Saturn and Uranus, wind-up birds everywhere are busy at work fulfilling their appointed rounds.



    One last word of advice, though, Mr. Okada, though you may not want to hear this. There are things in this world it is better not to know about. Of course, those are the very things that people most want to know about. It's strange.


    You are a major dimwit. Is your brain made out of jello, you spineless twit? A leaf? What do you think I am, one of those magical raccoons? I'm a concept, get it? Con-cept! Concepts and raccoons aren't exactly the same, now are they? What a dumb thing to say...

    I don't want our relationship to end like this. You're one of the very few friends I have, and it hurts not being able to see you. When am I going to be able to talk to you? I want you to tell me that much, at least.


    The years nineteen and twenty are a crucial stage in the maturation of character, and if you allow yourself to become warped when you're that age, it will cause you pain when you're older.


    If something came out of the deal, it couldn't make things any worse for us than they already were, I thought. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Hell has no true bottom.



    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.

    Just as you take care of the birds and the fields every morning, every morning I wind my own spring. I give it some thirty-six good twists by the time I've gotten up, brushed my teeth, shaved, eaten breakfast, changed my clothes, left the dorm, and arrived at the university. I tell myself, Ok, let's make this day another good one.

    Things like that happen all the time in this great big world of ours. It is like taking a boat out on a beautiful lake on a beautiful day and thinking both the sky and the lake are beautiful. Things will go where they are supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course. Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it is time for them to be hurt. Life is like that.


    I'm going to take you out of here ... I'm going to take you home, to the world where you belong, where cats with bent tails live, and there are little backyards, and alarm clocks ring in the morning.


    Well, finally, the events I've been through have been tremendously complicated. All kinds of characters have come on the scene, and strange things have happened one after another, to the point where, if I try to think about them in order, I lose track.

    Your heart is like a great river after a long spell of rain, spilling over its banks. All signposts that once stood on the ground are gone, inundated and carried away by that rush of water. And still the rain beats down on the surface of the river. Every time you see a flood like that on the news you tell yourself: That's it. That's my heart.

    I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.




    In terms of evolutionary history, it was only yesterday that men learned to walk around on two legs and get in trouble thinking complicated thoughts. So don't worry, you'll burn out.


    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.

    You're afraid of imagination and even more afraid of dreams. Afraid of the resposibility that begins in dreams. But you have to sleep and dreams are a part of sleep. When you're awake you can suppress imagination but you can't supress dreams.

    I read Naoko's letter again and again, and each time I read it I would be filled with the same unbearable sadness I used to feel whenever Naoko stared into my eyes. I had no way to deal with it, no place I could take it to or hide it away. Like the wind passing over my body, it had neither shape nor weight, nor could I wrap myself in it.



    As soon as I sat down across from her, she ordered me to put the entire contents of my pants pockets on the table. I did as I was told, saying nothing. My reality seemed to have left me and was now wandering around nearby. I hope it can find me, I thought.

    It might not be perfect, but the fundamental stance I adopted with regard to my home was to accept it, problems and all, because it was something I myself had chosen. If it had problems, these were almost certainly problems that had originated within me.


    When I finished bathing after dinner, Kumiko was sitting in the living room with the lights out. Hunched down in the dark with her gray shirt on, she looked like a piece of luggage that had been left in the wrong place.



    My arm was not what she needed, but the arm of someone else. My warmth was not what she needed, but the warmth of someone else.

    We heard no other sounds. We met no other people. We saw only two bright red birds leap startled from the center of the meadow and dart into the woods.

    But knowing what I don't want to do doesn't help me figure out what I do want to do. I could do just about anything if somebody made me. But I don't have an image of the one thing I really want to do. That's my problem now. I can't find the image.

    It suddenly occurred to me that true believers in hard-driving jazz-Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor-could never become owners of cleaning shops in malls across from railroad stations.



    And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness.

    I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it -- to be fed so much love I couldn't take any more. Just once.


    More Haruki Murakami Quotations (Based on Topics)


    World - Time - Life - Mind - People - Place - Death & Dying - Sense & Perception - Thought & Thinking - Dreams - Imagination & Visualization - Friendship - Books - Love - Age - Education - Night - Man - Spring - View All Haruki Murakami Quotations

    More Haruki Murakami Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
    - Kafka on the Shore
    - Norwegian Wood
    - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    Related Authors


    Napoleon Hill - Dale Carnegie - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Milan Kundera - John Grisham - Edward Fairfax - Denis Waitley - Bill Bryson - Agatha Christie - Abraham Polonsky


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