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the journey of words

[…]  that once you throw your life to the winds, you will discover things you had never known before, things that cannot be learned under any other circumstances.

Paul Auster, Moon Palace (Penguin Books, 1990)

No one was to blame for what happened, but that does not make it any less difficult to accept. It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That’s what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.

Paul Auster, Moon Palace (Penguin Books, 1990)

As long as a man had the courage to reject what society told him to do, he could live life on his own terms. To what end? To be free. But free to what end? To read books, to write books, to think.

Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies ( Picador, 2006)

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.

Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies ( Picador, 2006)

 However I imagine my life
or imagine not having yet been born,
I will not succeed in freeing myself.

It will not be what is yet to come, but
that which came and has already left,
but that which came and has already left.

Cesar Vallejo, from “XXXIII,” The Complete Poetry (University of California Press, 2007)

I read Naoko’s letter again and again, and each time I read it I would be filled with that same unbearable sadness I used to feel whenever Naoko herself 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. Objects in the scene would drift past me, but the words they spoke never reached my ears.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, 2003)

“Waiting for your answer is one of the most painful things I have ever been through. At least let me know whether or not I hurt you.” When I dropped it in the mail, I felt as if the cavern inside me had grown again.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, 2003)

Something inside me had dropped away, and nothing came in to fill the cavern. There was an abnormal lightness to my body, and sounds had a hollow echo to them.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, 2003)

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, 2003)

I would stare at the grains of light suspended in that silent space, struggling to see into my own heart. What did I want? And what did others want from me? But I could never find the answers. Sometimes I would reach out and try to grasp the grains of light, but my fingers touched nothing.

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, 2003)