At that moment, beauty itself struck me as a kind of painful melancholy.
We human beings are only a part of something very much larger. When we walk along, we may crush a beetle or simply cause a change in the air so that a fly ends up where it might never have gone otherwise. And if we think of the same example but with ourselves in the role of the insect, and the larger universe in the role we've just played, it's perfectly clear that we're affected every day by forces over which we have no more control than the poor beetle has over our gigantic foot as it descends upon it. What are we to do? We must use whatever methods we can to understand the movement of the universe around us and time our actions so that we are not fighting the currents, but moving with them.
He stood with his two frail hands on his cane and his eyes closed, and breathed in deeply the scent of the past. "Sometimes," he sighed, "I think the things I remember are more real than the things I see.
A woman who acts like a fool is a fool.
Passion can quickly slip to jealousy, or even hatred.
I long ago developed a very practical smile, which I call my "Noh smile" because it resembles a Noh mask whose features are frozen. Its advantage is that men can interpret it however they want; you can imagine how often I've relied on it.
Since the day I’d left Yoroido, I’d done nothing but worry that every turn of life’s wheel would bring yet another obstacle into my path; and of course, it was the worrying and the struggle that had always made life so vividly real to me.
And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.
For a flicker of a moment I imagined a world completely different from the one I'd always known, a world in which I was treated with fairness, even kindness-- a world in which fathers didn't sell their daughters.
Adversity is like a strong wind. I don't mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.