October 24, 2016

Banana Yoshimoto Quotes

“… I was thinking, listlessly, is this what it means to be happy? But now I feel it in my gut. Why is it we have so little choice? We live like the lowliest worms. Always defeated – defeated we make dinner, we eat, we sleep. Everyone we love is dying. Still, to cease living is unacceptable.”

“A lover should die after a long lifetime. I lost Hitoshi at the age of twenty, and I suffered from it so much that I felt as if my own life had stopped. The night he died, my soul went away to some other place and I couldn’t bring it back. It was impossible to see the world as I had before. My brain ebbed and flowed, unstable, and I passed the days in a relentless state of dull oppression.”

“A particular variety of loneliness, like peering deep into the darkness. It’s only natural, when two separate universes touch. “

“Actually, time had always been passing. I had just managed to avoid thinking about it very much. It would be hard for me to recapture that feeling—life wasn’t so easy anymore. Small things pricked my heart. In those early days, I lived in a world of overwhelming sensations; it was like I had just fallen out of love.”

“Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed. “

“And when something awful happens, the goodness stands out even more … “

“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed. “

“As long as it had remained a mystery, I could have dealt with it–no matter how enormous a mystery it became. Now that matters had gotten more specific, my imagination began supplying smells and textures.”

“As people we narrowly get by with our lives each day, energy from our soft, delicate actions appearing like cherry blossoms, only once, and once for a short while. Eventually petals fall to the ground. “

“But I have my life, I’m living it. It’s twisted, exhausting, uncertain, and full of guilt, but nonetheless, there’s something there. “

“Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we’ve ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves. “

“Even when I try to stir myself up, I just get irritated because I can’t make anything come out. And in the middle of the night I lie here thinking about all this. If I don’t get back on track somehow, I’m dead, that’s the sense I get. There isn’t a single strong emotion inside me.”

“Every time I look into his eyes I just want to take the ice cream or whatever I’ve got in my hand and rub it into his face. That’s how much I like him. “

“Everyone knows that hidden pull is there, but we go on living our lives, pretending we don’t. We keep our gazes fixed, day after day, on the things we want to see.”

“Everyone lives the way she knows best. What I mean by ‘their happiness’ is living a life untouched as much as possible by the knowledge that we are really, all of us, alone. That’s not a bad thing.”

“Everything in life has some good in it And when something awful happens, the goodness stands our even more- it’s sad, but that’s the truth. “

“Everything in life has some good in it. And when something awful happens, the goodness stands out even more–it’s sad, but that’s the truth. “

“Everything in my life revolves around people playing at being something. “

“Everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy. “

“Fate is a ladder on which you cannot afford to miss a single rung. To skip out on even one step would mean you’ll never make it to the top.”

“For some reason I keep getting connected to men who have something to do with plants.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to give up; I wanted to give up on living. There was no denying that tomorrow would come, and the day after tomorrow, and so next week, too. I never thought it would be this hard, but I would go on living in the midst of a glomy depression, and that made me feel sick to the depths of my soul. In spite of the tempest raging within me, I walked the night path calmly. “

“Good tea is eloquent enough, it turns out, to change a person’s mind.”

“He doesn’t look like a gangster, but then he’s not the office worker type, either…some kind of entrepreneur maybe, or, – wait, I’ve got it! He looks like he writes manga! Either that or a chiropractor, I guess. “

“Her eyes were those of someone who’s just fallen in love, someone who sees nothing but her lover, someone who has no fear of anything. The eyes of someone who believes that every dream will come true, that reality will move if you just give it a push. “

“Here in this ocean, in the midst of all this water, with the red flags on those distant buoys flapping in the sea breeze, I find myself unable to treat our house in Tokyo as anything but a dream. “

“I became part of the air that surrounded Sui, and breathed her incomprehensible sadness. I think that part of those feelings live within my soul. Burdened by bad karma, and a soul that beckoned such unfortunate fate, Sui used all the resources she had to make her way through love. I witnessed that. “

“I felt how important the simplest things were, like feeling proud, finding something funny, stretching yourself, retreating into yourself.”

“I felt sure of this. However much I loved him, and as beautiful as the world was, none of it was powerful enough to take the weight off his heart, that heaviness that dragged him down, into the beyond, making him yearn to be at peace. “

“I got dressed to begin another day. Over and over, we begin again.”

“I got up and sprinted into the ocean, chasing my father. I’m in love with the moment when the water switches from being so cold you want to leap up into the air to something that feels just right against your skin.”

“I guess my mom was all he had-the one flower that smelled like freedom”

“I guess you just lacked the courage, the guts to strike out on your own. And so when it all came to an end, you were still living that way, a life you never meant to be anything more than a stopgap, filling in for the real thing.”

“I had been walking in silence for so long,I had almost forgotten what my own voice sounded like.My knees were tired;my toes were beginning to ache. “

“I had the impression that her place was near mine, but even by bus it took about twenty minutes. She lived alone in an apartment house, square and white like a block of tofu, on the edge of town. “

“I held the feeling in my heart; the urge to discuss it died out. There was all the time in the world. In the endless repetition of other nights, other mornings, this moment, too, might become a dream.  “

“I love feeling the rhythm of other people’s lives. It’s like traveling. “

“I never tell my boyfriend that I’m busy when I’m not. No matter how effective they are, cheap techniques like that just don’t agree with me. So it’s always okay, it’s always all right. In my opinion the surest way to hook a man is to be as open with him as possible. “

“I realized that the world did not exist for my benefit. It followed that the ratio of pleasant and unpleasant things around me would not change. It wasn’t up to me. It was clear that the best thing to do was to adopt a sort of muddled cheerfulness. “

“I really believe that no matter how old people get, they tend to change in certain ways depending on how people treat them – they change their colors. “

“I saw the sky and sea and sand and the flickering flames of the bonfire through my tears. All at once, it rushed into my head with tremendous speed, and made me feel dizzy. It was beautiful. Everything that happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy. “

“I should have told her at the time. I could have taken a deep breath, looked away, and forced myself to say it. “

“I wanted to hold everything in place with my thin little arm and weak spirit. I wanted to do what I could with my unreliable body to try and deal with the many scary things that were going to start happening from now on. I wanted to try. “

“I wonder what it felt to move to a country where you didn’t grow up. I had thought about that often since my sister got married. Do you become a character in a story native to that land, or do you, somewhere in your heart, want to return to your homeland. “

“I’ll never be able to be here again. As the minutes slide by, I move on. The flow of time is something I cannot stop. I haven’t a choice. I go. One caravan has stopped, another starts up. There are people I have yet to meet, others I’ll never see again. People who are gone before you know it, people who are just passing through. Even as we exchange hellos, they seem to grow transparent. I must keep living with the flowing river before my eyes.”

“If a person hasn’t ever experienced true despair, she grows old never knowing how to evaluate where she is in life; never understanding what joy really is.”

“If people I don’t care for are attracted to me, I accept it as the wages of beauty. “

“If someone could give me some sort of evidence that what we’re doing is really love, I’d be so tremendously relieved…”

“If you don’t say what you’re thinking, you end up lying when you really need to speak up. “

“If you–or anyone on this train, for that matter–thought of life as a kind of train, instead of worrying only about your usual destinations, you’d be surprised how far you could go, just with the money you have in your wallet right now. “

“If you’re always angry, always yelling at people, ultimately that just means you depend on them. “

“In places where a loved one has died, time stops for eternity.”

“In the uncertain ebb and flow of time and emotions much of one’s life history is etched in the senses. “

“In the uncertain ebb and flow of time and emotions, much of one’s life history is etched in the senses. And things of no particular importance, or irreplaceable things, can suddenly resurface in a café one winter night. “

“In this world there is no place for sadness. No place; not one. “

“Inching one’s way along a steep cliff in the dark: on reaching the highway, one breathes a sigh of relief. Just when one can’t take any more, one sees the moonlight. Beauty that seems to infuse itself into the heart: I know about that “

“It didn’t matter whether he was nearby or far away. His image would drift up into your mind just when you least expected it, shocking you, making your chest pound. Making your heart ache. “

“It occurred to me that if I were a ghost, this ambiance was what I’d miss most: the ordinary, day-to-day bustle of the living. Ghosts long, I’m sure, for the stupidest, most unremarkable things.”

“It was all your imagination. And imagination is sometimes worse than reality… “

“It was at once a miracle and the most natural thing in the world. “

“it was clear that the best thing to do was to adopt a sort of muddled cheerfulness”

“It was so gorgeous it almost felt like sadness. “

“It was the truth. I felt a yearning love for every instant that passed.”

“It’s a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit together looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you’re never bothered by the noise the water makes by the commotion of the surface – it never seems too loud, or too wild.”

“It’s only natural, when two separate universes touch. “

“Just when one can’t take anymore, one sees the moonlight. Beauty that seems to infuse itself into the heart: I know about that.”

“Living like that utterly convinced me of the extreme limitations of language. I was just a child then, so I had only an intuitive understanding of the degree to which one losses control of words once they are spoken or written. It was then that I first felt a deep curiosity about language, and understood it as a tool that encompasses both a single moment and eternity.”

“Love is the kind of thing that’s already happening by the time you notice it, that’s how it works, and no matter how old you get, that doesn’t change. Except that you can break it up into two entirely distinct types — love where there’s an end in sight and love where there isn’t. “

“May the memory of this moment, here, the glowing impression of the two of us facing each other in this warm, bright place drinking lovely hot tea, help save him, even a little bit. “

“May the memory of this moment, here, the glowing impression of the two of us facing each other in this warm, bright place, drinking lovely hot tea, help save him, even a little bit. “

“Me, when I’m utterly exhausted by it all, when my skin breaks out, on those lonely evenings when I call my friends again and again and nobody’s home, then I despise my own life – my birth, my upbringing, everything. “

“Nakajima’s past would always be there, so the foundation could crumble at any moment. That’s what happens, I realized, when people destroy other people.”

“No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that, I am not alive. “

“No matter where you are, you’re always a bit on your own, always an outsider. “

“No one can survive childhood without being wounded. Everyone remembers at least one time when their parents rejected them, pushed them away, even though they may have still been in the womb, blind, and unable to speak. That’s why, as adults, we all look for someone to become our parents again, and for someone to look after us in times of need. And we search for a person to live with who can provide the companionship we so desperately want. “

“No, I just wanted to recapture the incredibly vivid love we’d had at first- the love I’d shared with the tall man standing next to me, with the man I adored. “

“Nothing exists in this world but me and my bed…”

“Now only the kitchen and I are left. It’s just a little nicer than being all alone.”

“Of course, it’s true that sometimes the pink at sunrise somehow seems brighter than the pink at sunset, and that when you’re feeling down the the landscape seems darker too – you see things through the filter of your own sensibility. But the things themselves, out there, they don’t change. They existed, and that’s all there is to it. “

“Okay,’ I said, and waving, we parted. The feeling traveled to some infinitely distant place and disappeared.”

“On nights like this when the air is so clear, you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t. Without even noticing what you’re doing, you open up your heart and just start talking to the person next to you—you talk as if you have no audience but the glittering stars, far overhead. “

“Once you’ve recognized your own limits, you’ve raised yourself to a higher level of being, since you’re closer to the real you… “

“People aren’t overcome by situations or outside forces. Defeat comes from within. “

“People aren’t overcome by situations or outside forces; defeat invades from within, I thought. I had lost my last ounce of strength. Before my eyes something was coming to an end, something I didn’t want to end, but for which I lacked the energy to suffer, much less fight. There was only a leaden hopelessness in me. “

“People tend to think they break up because they get tired of the person they’ve been with—that it’s someone’s decision, either yours or theirs. But this really isn’t true. Periods in our lives end the way seasons change. That’s all there is to it. Human willpower can’t change that–which means, if you look at it another way, that we might as well enjoy ourselves until that day arrives. “

“People who are going to get along really well know it almost as soon as they meet. You spend a little while talking and everyone starts to feel this conviction, you’re all equally sure that you’re at the beginning of something good. That’s how it is when you meet people you’re going to be with for a long time. “

“Perhaps there are people in this world who love their fountain pens with every fiber of their being—and that’s very sad. If you’re not in love with him, you can understand him. “

“Recognizing how totally ignorant you are is the only honest way to deal with people who’ve been through something traumatic. “

“She could warm up the air, and then gently blow it out, just like a lily. She smelled of a syrup made of boiled-down despair.”

“She walks away as if she were going to disappear. I wonder if I’ll ever see her again.”I turned and saw her yellow blouse receding into the distance as she walked along the busy street. She looked like a balloon someone had let loose in the sky. We watched her go. “

“She was still there inside me now, just as she always was: a life put on hold, a memory I didn’t know how to handle. “

“Someday, without fail, everyone will disappear, scattered into the blackness of time. “

“Sometimes people put up walls, not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

“Thanks so much for seeing, the first time you met us, that even though we’re like ghosts, the two of us, even though we’re not supposed to exist, we are alive. “

“That’s the advantage of insomnia. People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done “

“The place I like best in this world is the kitchen. No matter where it is, no matter what kind, if it’s a kitchen, if it’s a place where they make food, it’s fine with me. Ideally it should be well broken in. Lots of tea towels, dry and immaculate. Where tile catching the light (ting! Ting!) “

“The ritual of our daily lives permeate our very bodies.”

“The room was so unearthly quiet, I lost all sense of time being divided into seconds. I felt that I was the only person alive and moving in a world brought to a stop.”

“The sky was incredibly far away, and beautiful enough to make a person wonder why our hearts are never so free. “

“The way we think may be completely different, but you and I are an ancient, archetypal couple, the original man and woman. We are the model for Adam and Eve. For all couples in love, there comes a moment when a man gazes at a woman with the very same kind of realization. It is an infinite helix, the dance of two souls resonating, like the twist of DNA, like the vast universe.”

“There are many days when all the awful things that happen make you sick at heart, when the path before you is so steep you can’t bear to look. Not even love can rescue a person from that. “

“There are many, many difficult times, god knows. If a person wants to stand on her own two feet, I recommend undertaking the care and feeding of something. It could be children, or it could be house plants, you know? By doing that you come to understand your own limitations. That’s where it starts.”

“There was a real sense of comfort but at the same time it felt oddly tense. The feeling that every little things we said, these conversations, at any moment, they could stop being possible, and so they were precious, it was that feeling, and the sense of the miracle of this shared moment, here and now. Why were we so far apart, even when we are together? It was anice loneliness, like th sensation of washing your face with cold water. “

“Things are just things. They can’t bring back the dead. it just makes me feel better. “

“Things look different depending on your perspective. As I see it, fighting to bridge those gaps isn’t what really matters. The most important thing is to know them inside and out, as differences, and to understand why certain people are the way they are. “

“Things that don’t matter at all to one person can hurt another so deeply it seems as bad as dying. “

“This is what it means to be loved… when someone wants to touch you, to be tender… “

“This world of ours is piled high with farewells and goodbyes of so many different kinds, like the evening sky renewing itself again and again from one instant to the next-and I didn’t want to forget a single one. “

“Time expands and contracts. When it expands, it’s like pitch: it folds people in its arms and holds them forever in its embrace. It doesn’t let us go so easily. Sometimes you go back again to the place you’ve just come from, stop and close your eyes, and realize that not a second has passed, and time just leaves you there, stranded, in the darkness “

“Truly great people emit a light that warms the hearts of those around them. When that light has been put out, a heavy shadow of despair descends. “

“Truly happy memories always live on, shining. Over time, one by one, they come back to life.”

“Ultimately, though, it’s living people that frighten me the most. It’s always seemed to me that nothing could be scarier than a person, because as dreadful places can be, they’re still just places; and no matter how awful ghosts might seem, they’re just dead people. I always thought that the most terrifying things anyone could ever think up were the things living people came up with.  “

“Was that what it means to be an adult, to live with ugly ambiguities?”

“We all believe we can choose our own path from among the many alternatives. But perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we make the choice unconsciously. I think I did- but now I knew it, because now I was able to put it into words. But I don’t mean this in the fatalistic sense; we’re constantly making choices. With the breaths we take every day, with the expression in our eyes, with the daily actions we do over and over, we decide as though by instinct. “

“We ran into lots of old friends. Friends from elementary school, junior high school, high school. Everyone had matured in their own way, and even as we stood face to face with them they seemed like people from dreams, sudden glimpses through the fences of our tangled memories. We smiled and waved, exchanged a few words, and then walked on in our separate directions. “

“What was important wasn’t the fireworks, it was that we were together this evening, together in this place, looking up into the sky at the same time. “

“When I’m dead worn out, in a reverie, I often think that when it comes time to die, I want to breathe my last in a kitchen. Whether it’s cold and I’m all alone, or somebody’s there and it’s warm, I’ll stare death fearlessly in the eye. If it’s a kitchen, I’ll think, ‘How good. “

“When someone tells you something big, it’s like you’re taking money from them, and there’s no way it will ever go back to being the way it was. You have to take responsibility for listening. I was happy. I loved the night, I loved t so much it almost hurt. In the night everything seemed possible. I wasn’t sleepy at all. “

“When things get really bad, you take comfort in the placeness of a place. “

“When was it I realized that, on this truly dark and solitary path we all walk, the only way we can light is our own? Although I was raised with love, I was always lonely. Someday, without fail, everyone will disappear, scattered into the blackness of time. “

“Why is it that everything I eat when I’m with you is so delicious?’ I laughed. ‘Could it be that you’re satisfying hunger and lust at the same time? “

“Why is it we have so little choice? We live like the lowliest worms. Always defeated – defeated we make dinner, we eat, we sleep. Everyone we love is dying. Sill, to cease living is unacceptable. “

“Why were we so far apart, even when we were together? It was a nice loneliness, like the sensation of washing your face in cold water. “

“With Lizard, I felt overwhelmed by the desire to touch her skin, to kiss her, hold her, make love to her,no matter how it happened, I just had to have her, Lizard and no one else. Right then and there. Tears came to my eyes, I wanted her so much. “

“You have the nicest window, you know? None of the others can even compete. It´s not flashy like the others, or bleary – your window gives of this nice, quiet light. “

“You have to take responsibility for listening.”

“You know, Chihiro, darling- all it takes is one little wrong step and you end up feeling frustrated your whole life, like me. “