Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The end of the race is just a temporary marker without much significance. Just because there is an end doesn’t mean existence has meaning. An end point is simply set up as a temporary marker, or perhaps as an indirect metaphor for the fleeting nature of existence. It’s very philosophical - not that at this point I’m thinking how philosophical it is. I just vaguely experience this idea, not with words, but as a physical sensation.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

it’s the end of the line for our previous apartment… time to make memories in the new one… :)
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limit: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life - and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.

(emphasis mine)

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Friday, July 13, 2012

When I look at photos of me taken back then, it’s obvious I didn’t yet have a runner’s physique. I hadn’t run enough, hadn’t built up the requisite muscles, and my arms were too thin, my legs too skinny. I’m impressed I could run a marathon with a body like that. When you compare me in these photos to the way I am now, they make me look like a completely different person. After years of running, my musculature has changed completely. But even then I could feel physical changes happening every day, which made me really happy. I felt like even though I was past thirty, there were still some possibilities left for me and my body. The more I ran, the more my physical potential was revealed.

I used to tend to gain weight, but around that time my weight stabilized at where it should be. Exercising every day, I naturally reached my ideal weight, and I discovered this helped my performance. Along with this, my diet started to gradually change as well. I began to eat mostly vegetables, with fish as my main source of protein. I never liked meat much anyway, and this aversion became even more pronounced. I cut back on rice and alcohol and began using natural ingredients. Sweets weren’t a problem since I never much cared for them.

As I said, if I don’t do anything I tend to put on the pounds. My wife’s the opposite, since she can eat as much as she likes (she doesn’t eat a lot of them, but can never turn down anything sweet), never exercise, and still not put on any weight. She has no extra fat at all. Life just isn’t fair, is how it used to strike me. Some people can work their butts off and never get what their aiming for, while others can get it without any effort at all.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

The wife surprised me with this finding: there are so many similar things about Murakami and his wife and myself and the wife - I started running, cut down on meat, about her loving sweets (chocolates in particular) and her not needing to exercise and still not gain weight…

But slight difference (ok, not so slight): I still love the occasional burger (well-done) though I try to limit having only one per month and I was never really fond of alcohol to start with, and of course, Murakami is a very successful literary genius (my opinion) and I still have to make it…

Monday, July 9, 2012

As I mentioned before, competing against other people, whether in daily life or in my field of work, is just not the sort of lifestyle I’m after. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the world is made up of all kinds of people. Other people have their own values to live by, and the same holds true with me. These differences give rise to disagreements, and the combination of these disagreements give rise to even greater misunderstandings. As a result, sometimes people are unfairly criticized. This goes without saying. It’s not much fun to be misunderstood or criticized, but rather a painful experience that hurts people deeply.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve gradually come to the realization that this kind of pain and hurt is a necessary part of life. If you think about it, it’s precisely because people are different from others that they’re able to create their own independent selves. Take me as an example. It’s precisely my ability to detect some aspects of a scene that other people can’t, to feel differently than others and choose words that differ from theirs, that’s allowed me to write stories that are mine alone. And because of this we have the extraordinary situation in which quite a few people read what I’ve written. So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.

-Haruki Murakami, What I Think About When I Think About Running

Friday, June 29, 2012

'Is time really passing?'

'Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.'

— Haruki Murakami Dance Dance Dance

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Humans achieve their peak in different ways. But whoever you are, once you’re over the summit, it’s downhill all the way. Nothing anyone can do about it. And the worst of it is, you never know where that peak is. You think you’re still going strong, when suddenly you’ve crossed the great divide. Non one can tell. Some people peak at twelve, then lead rather uneventful lives from then on. Some carry on until they die; some die at their peak. Poets and composers have lived like furies, pushing themselves to such a pitch they’re gone by thirty. Then there are those like Picasso, who kept breaking ground until well past eighty.

- Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The photograph brought a pain to my chest. It made me realize what an awful amount of time I had lost. Precious years that could never be recovered, no matter how much I struggled to bring them back. Time that existed only then, only in that place. I gazed at the photo for the longest time. “What’s so interesting about the picture?” she asked. “I’m trying to fill in time,” I replied. “It’s been twenty-five years since I saw you last. I want to fill in that gap, even a little.” She smiled and looked at me quizzically, as if there was something weird about my face. “It’s strange,” she said. “You want to fill in that blank space of time, but I want to keep it all blank.”

Murakami, Haruki (2010-08-11). South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (p. 145). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

As a photographer, that’s what I want: to fill the gap… For people who would want to remember, for people who would want to go back…

It is so amazing that Murakami captures the human emotion so vividly, so expressively. I wish to do that with my photography… I wish to do the same…

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Because memory and sensations are so uncertain, so biased, we always rely on a certain reality—call it an alternate reality—to prove the reality of events. To what extent facts we recognize as such really are as they seem, and to what extent these are facts merely because we label them as such, is an impossible distinction to draw. Therefore, in order to pin down reality as reality, we need another reality to relativize the first. Yet that other reality requires a third reality to serve as its grounding. An endless chain is created within our consciousness, and it is the very maintenance of this chain that produces the sensation that we are actually here, that we ourselves exist. But something can happen to sever that chain, and we are at a loss. What is real? Is reality on this side of the break in the chain? Or over there, on the other side?

Murakami, Haruki (2010-08-11). South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (pp. 200-201). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Friday, June 8, 2012

“There are some things in this world that can be done over, and some that can’t. And time passing is one thing that can’t be redone. Come this far, and you can’t go back.

“After a certain length of time has passed, things harden up. Like cement hardening in a bucket. And we can’t go back anymore. What you want to say is that the cement that makes you up has hardened, so the you you are now can’t be anyone else.”

Murakami, Haruki (2010-08-11). South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (p. 14). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I am still haunted by how beautiful this novel is… For me, the best Murakami yet…
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

“For a while is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting…

“And probably is a word whose weight is incalculable.”

Murakami, Haruki (2010-08-11). South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (p. 167). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The feel of her hand has never left me. It was different from any other hand I’d ever held, different from any touch I’ve ever known. It was merely the small, warm hand of a twelve-year-old girl, yet those five fingers and that palm were like a display case crammed full of everything I wanted to know—and everything I had to know. By taking my hand, she showed me what these things were. That within the real world, a place like this existed. In the space of those ten seconds I became a tiny bird, fluttering into the air, the wind rushing by. From high in the sky I could see a scene far away. It was so far off I couldn’t make it out clearly, yet something was there, and I knew that someday I would travel to that place. This revelation made me catch my breath and made my chest tremble.

Murakami, Haruki (2010-08-11). South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (p. 16). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

This is such a hauntingly beautiful story of love found, lost and found again… It has affected me in a way that I never thought it would… This book will always be a favorite.
Friday, May 18, 2012
To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
(L)ife is a far more limited thing than those in the midst of its maelstrom realize. The light shines into the act of life for only the briefest moment - perhaps only a matter of seconds. Once it is gone and one has failed to grasp its offered revelation, there is no second chance. One may have to live life the rest of one’s life in hopeless depths of loneliness and remorse. In that twilight world, one can no longer look forward to anything. All that such a person holds in his hands is the withered corpse of what should have been. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami - emphasis mine
Monday, April 16, 2012
(A) person’s destiny is something you look back at afterward, not something to be known in advance. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami