Can't you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge, has been to bring myself closer to you.
We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.
Hopes are like hair ornaments. Girls want to wear too many of them. When they become old women they look silly wearing even one.
Watch for the thing that will show itself to you. Because that thing, when you find it, will be your future.
It’s less a matter of looking the other way than of closing our eyes to what we can’t stop from happening.
The heart dies a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains.
I don't know when we'll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.
For a flicker of a moment I imagined a world completely different from the one I'd always known, a world in which I was treated with fairness, even kindness-- a world in which fathers didn't sell their daughters.
And when I raised myself to look at the man who’d spoken, I had a feeling of leaving my misery behind me there on the stone wall.
At the temple there is a poem called Loss carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.
Flowers that grow where old ones have withered serve to remind us that death will one day come to us all.
I began to feel that all the people I'd ever known who had died or left me had not in fact gone away, but continued to live on inside me just as this man's wife lived on inside him.
I cannot tell you what it is that guides us in this life; but for me, I fell toward the Chairman just as a stone must fall toward the earth. When I cut my lip and met Mr. Tanaka, when my mother died and I was cruelly sold, it was all like a stream that falls over rocky cliffs before it can reach the ocean. Even now that he is gone I have him still, in the richness of my memories.
I long ago developed a very practical smile, which I call my Noh smile because it resembles a Noh mask whose features are frozen. Its advantage is that men can interpret it however they want; you can imagine how often I've relied on it.
When a stone is dropped into a pond, the water continues quivering even after the stone has sunk to the bottom.
Once when I was a little child of six or so, I watched a spider spinning its web in a corner of the house. Before the spider had even finished its job, a mosquito flew right into the web and was trapped there. The spider didn't pay it any attention at first, but went on with what it was doing; only when it was finished did it creep over on its pointy toes and sting that poor mosquito to death. As I sat there on that wooden floor and watched Hatsumomo come reaching for me with her delicate fingers, I knew I was trapped in a web she had spun for me.
After all, when a stone is dropped into a pond, the water continues quivering even after the stone has sunk to the bottom.
Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.
Perhaps it seems odd that a casual meeting on the street could have brought about such change. But sometimes life is like that isn't it
I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.
And then I became aware of all the magnificent silk wrapped around my body, and had the feeling I might drown in beauty. At that moment, beauty itself struck me as a kind of painful melancholy.
Even now that he is gone I have him still, in the richness of my memories. I've lived my life again just telling it to you.
Here's the thing: this eel spends its entire life trying to find a home, and what do you think women have inside them? Caves, where the eels like to live...when they find a cave they like, the wriggle around inside it for a while to be sure that...well, to be sure it's a nice cave, I suppose. And when they've made up their minds that it's comfortable, they mark the cave as their territory...by spitting.
Finally the homeless eel marked its territory, I suppose, and the Doctor lay heavily upon me, moist with sweat.
We human beings are only a part of something very much larger. When we walk along, we may crush a beetle or simply cause a change in the air so that a fly ends up where it might never have gone otherwise. And if we think of the same example but with ourselves in the role of the insect, and the larger universe in the role we've just played, it's perfectly clear that we're affected every day by forces over which we have no more control than the poor beetle has over our gigantic foot as it descends upon it. What are we to do? We must use whatever methods we can to understand the movement of the universe around us and time our actions so that we are not fighting the currents, but moving with them.
But, Mameha-san, I don’t want kindness!”“Don’t you? I thought we all wanted kindness. Perhaps what you mean is that you want something more than kindness. And that is something you’re in no position to ask.
that droplet of moisture that had slipped from me like a tear seemed almost to tell the story of my life. It fell through empty space, with no control whatsoever over its destiny; rolled along a path of silk; and somehow came to rest there on the teeth of that dragon. I thought of the petals I’d thrown into the Kamo River shallows outside Mr. Arashino’s workshop, imagining they might find their way to the Chairman. It seemed to me that, somehow, perhaps they had.
I knew even then that she was right. An en is a karmic bond lasting a lifetime. Nowadays many people seem to believe their lives are entirely a matter of choice; but in my day we viewed ourselves as pieces of clay that forever show the fingerprints of everyone who has touched them. Nobu's touch had made a deeper impression on me than most. No one could tell me whether he would be my ultimate destiny, but I had always sensed the en between us. Somewhere in the landscape of my life Nobu would always be present. But could it really be that of all the lessons I'd learned, the hardest one lay just ahead of me? Would I really have to take each of my hopes and put them away where no one would ever see them again, where not even I would ever see them?
I'm not sure this will make sense to you but I felt as though I'd turned around to look in a different direction so that I no longer faced backward toward the past but forward toward the future. And now the question confronting me was this: What would the future be
If we rub a fabric too often, it will quickly grow threadbare; and Nobu’s words had rasped against me so much, I could no longer maintain that finely lacquered surface Mameha had always counseled me to hide behind.