The following quotes come from the book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. The author is a a novelist who likes to run, and has run in 25 or more marathons. (I’m saying that because it’ll help make one or two quotes make more sense.)
If you like to run, I would definitely recommend this book. I think he talks about life using running as a way to illustrate things, and I liked a lot of what he had to say and how he said it. If you don’t like to run … This one is probably a pass.
When I’m criticized unjustly (from my viewpoint at least), or when someone I’m sure will understand me doesn’t, I go running for a little longer than usual. By running longer it’s like I can physically exhaust that portion of my discontent.
I sit at a cafe in the village and gulp down cold Amstel beer. It tastes fantastic, but not nearly as great as the beer I’d been imagining as I ran. Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.
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 limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life – and for me, for writing as well.
All I have to go on are experience and instinct. Experience has taught me this: You’ve done everything you needed to do, and there’s no sense in rehashing it. All you can do now is wait for the race. And what instinct has taught me is one thing only: Use your imagination. So I close my eyes and see it all.
I look up at the sky, wondering if I’ll catch a glimpse of kindness there, but I don’t. All I see are indifferent summer clouds drifting over the Pacific. And they have nothing to say to me. Clouds are always taciturn. I probably shouldn’t be looking up at them. What I should be looking at is inside of me. Like staring down into a deep well. Can I see kindness there? No, all I see is my own nature. My own individual, stubborn, uncooperative, often self-centered nature that still doubts itself – that, when troubles occur, tries to find something funny, or something nearly funny, about the situation. I’ve carried this character around like an old suitcase, down a long, dusty path. I’m not carrying it because I like it. The contents are too heavy, and it looks crummy, fraying in spots. I’ve carried it with me because there was nothing else I was supposed to carry. Still, I guess I have grown attached to it. As you might expect.