Why can’t people get along without criticizing one another?” Urashima shakes his head as he ponders this rudimentary question. “Never have the bush clover blooming on the beach, nor the little crabs who skitter o’er the sand, nor the wild geese resting their wings in yonder cove found fault with me. Would that human beings too were thus! Each individual has his own way of living. Can we not learn to respect one another’s chosen way? One makes every effort to live in a dignified and proper manner, without harming anyone else, yet people will carp and cavil and try to tear one down. It’s most vexing.
I wonder if I have ever actually been happy. People have told me, really more times than I can remember, ever since I was a small boy, how lucky I was, but I have always felt as if I were suffering in hell. It has seemed to me in fact that those who called me lucky were incomparably more fortunate than I.
I go about saying how pained and tormented, how lonely and sad I feel, but what do I really mean by that? If I were to speak the truth, I would die.
I am sure that the reason why I wept and stormed as if I had gone off my head was that the combination of physical exhaustion and my unhappiness had made me hate and resent everything.
I yearned for everything long gone.
The wound has gradually become dearer to me than my own flesh and blood, and I have thought its pain to be the emotion of the wound as it lived or even its murmur of affection
I must go on living. And, though itmay be childish of me, I can't go on insimple compliance. From now on I muststruggle with the world. I thought thatMother might well be the last of thosewho can end their lives beautifully andsadly, struggling with no one, neitherhating nor betraying anyone. In theworld to come there will be no room forsuch people. The dying are beautiful,but to live, to survive – those thingssomehow seem hideous andcontaminated with blood.
I was afraid to go into a restaurant because I was intimidated by the waiters furtively hovering behind me waiting for my plate to be emptied. Most of all I dreaded paying a bill-my awkwardness when I handed over the money after buying something did not arise from my stinginess, but from excessive tension, excessive embarrassment, excessive uneasiness and apprehension.
To break free from this vexatious and awful never-ending cycle, this flood of outrageous thoughts, and to long for nothing more than simply to sleep--how clean, how pure, the mere thought of it is exhilarating.
Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody.