“Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up back where we started.”



Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.

—Kafka On The Shore



“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”

— Norwegian Wood


I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.’

—South of the Border, West of the Sun



“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

— What I Talk About When I Talk About Running


“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”

— Kafka on the Shore



And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

—Kafka On The Shore



“What matters is deciding in your heart to accept another person completely. When you do that, it is always the first time and the last.”

— Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


“People’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive.”

— After Dark


I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it — to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once.

—Norwegian Wood


I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put into words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and someone came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back together again. That sort of feeling.’

— Sputnik Sweetheart


If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.’

— 1Q84 (Vintage International)


Things can be seen better in the darkness,” he said, as if he had just seen into her mind. “But the longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to return to the world aboveground where the light is’

— 1Q84 (Vintage International)


There’s nothing wrong with not looking like something. It just means you don’t fit the stereotype yet.

— 1Q84 (Vintage International)


Of course it hurt that we could never love each other in a physical way. We would have been far more happy if we had. But that was like the tides, the change of seasons–something immutable, an immovable destiny we could never alter. No matter how cleverly we might shelter it, our delicate friendship wasn’t going to last forever. We were bound to reach a dead end. That was painfully clear.

—Sputnik Sweetheart