7.10.2011

Favorite "After Dark" by Murakami Quotes

"She breaks off her reading and looks outside. From this second-story window she can look down on the busy street.  Even at a time like this, the street is bright enough and filled with people coming and going--people with places to go and people with no places to go; people with a purpose and people with no purpose; people trying to hold time back and people trying to urge it forward." pg. 7

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"I once read a story about three brothers ho washed up on an island in Hawaii.  A myth. An old one. I read it when I was a kid, so I probably don't have the story exactly right, but it goes something like this.  Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm.  They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of uninhabited island.  It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a bit, high mountain in the middle.  The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, 'A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders.  I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes.  The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live.  The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home.  It's entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.'" [...] "So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would.  And they started pushing them along as the god told them to.  Now these were huge, heavy boulders so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up a incline took an enormous effort.  The youngest brother quit first.  He said, 'Brothers, this place is good enough for me.  It's close to the shore, and I can catch fish.  It has everything I need to go on living.  I don't mind if I can't see that much of the world from here.'  His two eldest brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit.  He said, 'Brother, this place is good enough for me.  there is plenty of fruit here.  It has everything I need to go on living.  I don't mind if I can't see that much of the world from here.'  The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain.  The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit.  He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the bolder with all his might.  He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain.  There he stopped and surveyed the world.  Now he could see more of the world than anyone.  This was the place he would live--where no grass grew, where no birds flew.  For water, he could only lick the ice and frost.  For food, he could only gnaw on moss.  Be he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii." pg. 20-22

"Her black hair cascades across the pillow like a flood of dark water." pg.30

"A beautiful girl sleeping on and on in bed.  Her straight black hair spreads over the pillow like a deeply meaningful fan.  Softly pursed lips.  Heart and mind at the bottom of the sea." pg. 64

"Wherever the intention of each may lie, we are together being carried along at the same speed down the same river of time." pg. 109

"A giant octopus living way down deep at the bottom of the ocean.  It has this tremendously powerful life force, a bunch of long, undulating legs, and it's heading somewhere, moving through the darkness of the ocean.  I'm sitting there listening to these trials, and all I can see in my head is this creature.  It takes on all kinds different shapes--sometimes it's 'the nation,' and sometimes it's 'the law,' and sometimes it takes on shapes that are more difficult and dangerous than that.  You can try cutting off its legs, but they just keep growing back.  Nobody can kill it.  It's too strong, and it lives too far down in the ocean.  Nobody knows where its heart is.  What I felt then was a deep terror.  And a kind of hopelessness, a feeling that I could never run away from this thing, no matter how far I went.  And this creature, this thing doesn't give a damn that I'm me or you're you.  In its presence, all human beings lose their names and their faces.  We all turn into signs, into numbers." pg. 118

"...any single human being, no matter what kind of person he or she may be, is all caught up in the tentacles of this animal like a giant octopus, and is getting sucked into the darkness. You can put any kind of spin on it you like, but you end up with the same unbearable spectacle." pg. 120

"A visual hallucination aroused by our desire to see some kind of change." pg. 130

"All we have to do is separate from the flesh, leave all substance behind, and allow ourselves to become a conceptual point of view devoid of mass.  With that accomplished, we can pass through any wall, leap over any abyss." pg. 131

"The silence is so deep it hurts our ears." pg. 132

"Again and again she tries to trace her memory back, but it gives out each time like a short thread." pg. 135

"But it's possible for people to draw closer to each other even while they keep a reasonable distance between them." "Of course it's possible," Takahashi says. "But what seems like a reasonable distance to one person might feel too far to somebody else." pg. 148

"Finally, no matter what I say, it doesn't reach her.  This layer, like some kind of transparent sponge kind of thing, stands there between Eri Asai and me, and the words that come out of my mouth have to pass through it, and when that happens, the sponge sucks almost all the nutrients right out of them.  She's not listening to anything I say--not really." pg. 151-152

"She's raising wordless screams and bleeding invisible blood." pg. 158

"It's my motto for life. 'Walk slowly; drink lots of water.'" pg. 173

"I don't really know what's going on, of course, but it seems to me your sister must have some big problem she's trying to deal with, something she can't solve on her own.  So all she wants to do is go to bed and sleep, to get away from the flesh-and-blood world for a while." pg. 198

"Someday you'll find the right person, Mari, and you'll learn to have a lot more confidence in yourself.  That's what I think.  So don't settle for anything less. In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else.  It's important to combine the two in just the right amount." pg. 204

"But that's the one thing I'll never be able to outrun.  Nobody can shake off their own shadow." pg. 204

"..people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive." pg. 206

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