The Best of Haruki Murakami’s Advice Column — Vulture
2. Hello, Murakami-san. It’s been a year since my ex and I broke up, but I still can’t get over her. When I look back, I can only remember the good memories. I even believe that she was the one for me. When I ask people for advice, they tell me to “move on” or “wait until you get over her.” Is there a third path that I can take?
—Cloth bag, male, 31 years old, office clerk
Ray Charles once earnestly sang, “They say that time heals a broken heart / But time has stood still since we’ve been apart.” There’s no use of me singing “I can’t stop loooooooving you” to you, I suppose.
I understand what you’re going though. I also have been through the same experience. Who cares? Think about her all you want. Even after a broken heart you can “only remember the fun memories you had with her.” You don’t feel disgruntled at all? That is an amazing thing. Ray Charles said he’ll “live my life in dreams of yesterday.” It is such a sad song. Listen to Ray Charles and spend your time wiping your tears. Things will start looking up soon. Ricky Nelson also once said, “Today’s teardrops are tomorrow’s rainbows.” But you probably don’t know who Ricky Nelson is.
Tell me that when you move to a new city that it’s hard.
That you may find yourself going to the grocery store and walking back, trying not to cry.
That you may prepare to lock yourself in your apartment forever, in fear of never finding any friends.
That you may never risk going out at night because of the risks they tell you about.
That you may feel your breath quickening with the realization that you have probably made the wrong decision.
Tell me that you’ve done this before, and that even if it’s taken a few days of crying or a few weeks of crying, that you did this, and that somehow you survived, and that you are there today, thriving.
Listened to this a bunch of times today while driving through the mountains to Salt Lake City.
The bottom line is to choose one and be consistent and try not to make a moral issue out of it.Mary Norris on the Oxford comma debate in “Holy Writ,” a great article about copy editing
After years of longing, and threatening, this Californian is going back west. Minnesota songwriters have been singing about this mystical land for ages - Mason Jennings comes to mind - but I’m finally, actually doing it. In two weeks, I’m starting the 2,000-mile drive to my new/old home.
I say two weeks, but the reality still hasn’t set in, even as I take pictures off my walls and put books into boxes. I’ve been in this house for 6 years. I’ve been in this state for 11. Maybe this blog post will make it real.
But one thing has set in - excitement. Of course, I was bouncing up and down when I got the call, an offer to work at the California Academy of Sciences, a magical place nestled in Golden Gate Park, home to Pierre the penguin, Claude the albino alligator, an Amazonian rain forest, a wily octopus, a wall of sea lion skulls brought to the museum by a volunteer for the past 30 years, and a team of researchers that are out in the field discovering amazing things like the correlation between seahorses, color, and the coral they wrap their tails around. But then the stress, the panic of moving long-distance.
Now, however, as we turn the corner, I’ve got a place to live, at least for awhile, in the Inner Sunset, a slow neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, but not too much on the outskirts of the city. This is close to the neighborhood where my family would go get haircuts together for the first 17 years of my life. We were always “going into the city for haircuts.” I’ll walk to work, maybe bike if I only have five minutes, beacuse that’s how close I’ll be.
What else awaits me? I hardly know. But in order to be the best Kristina I can be, this move, I think, is necessary. I have worked on the current Kristina a lot over the past two years and I think she’s ready for this step. I’ll be pushed, I’ll be stressed, I’ll be exhausted, I’ll be scared, and I’ll be lonely. But I’ll be, I hope, eyes wide open, and maybe a little bit braver.
The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.
Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness,
Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless toward the candle’s flame.
Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, though it is a warning, is ignored.
I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride,
The time when I was among their adherents
Who strut victoriously, unsuspecting.
But all of them would have one subject, desire,
If only my own—but no, not at all; alas,
I was driven because I wanted to be like others.
I was afraid of what was wild and indecent in me.
The history of my stupidity will not be written.
For one thing, it’s late. And the truth is laborious.
It felt like time to pull out some Milosz and read it.
This letter is to apologize to you for taking some pieces of rock from the forest. I am very sorry. I am also sorry that I told a lie to the man at the gate who asked me if I had removed anything from the park. The three pieces of rock that I am returning are all that I took. I picked them up at the Agate Bridge area. I rationalized that a few small pieces would not hurt. I did not see the note on your brochure about a “few small pieces” until I returned home and now realize the effect if everyone took a “few small pieces.”
I can assure you that I have been smitten of conscience since I returned home and instead of pleasant memories of your park, I feel guilty. So, again, I am very sorry. As far as I know, nothing like this has ever happened to me before and I assure you that it will not again. I hope you understand.
A Guilty Traveler