A saint with a halo, perhaps? or is it a lady in her stride?
or maybe its just crap…
“Modern paintings are like women: You’ll never enjoy them, if you try to understand them.”
— Freddie Mercury
“What I talk about when I talk about running” (WITAWITAR) is an interesting account of runner/novelist Haruki Murakami’s evolution as a runner and how it takes him on a journey of self discovery. The story goes around different cities through different marathon and triathlon events. The story Murakimi’s triumphs is both inspiring and invigorating and is highly recommended for all running enthusiasts. The pain sticking details with which Murakami describes his preparation for each race and the changes that he experiences both physically and emotionally is quite outstanding. People not interested in running, though might find the book dull and uninteresting.
The story, arranged like a running log starts from Hawaii, travels to Athens, Boston, Cambridge, Tokoyo and New York. Murakami’s evolution as runner makes up for an interesting read. Reading about the 62 mile (~100 km) ultra-marathon gives a vicarious thrill . The discoveries that Murakami makes in the process are insightful and inspirational. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” is one such observation which keeps on resonating in your mind long after you finish the book.
WITAWITAR lacks some of the obvious elements that make up for an interesting story . It has no romantic angels, no violence, no mystery, no fast paced action, no suspense. The narrative is rather linear and at times preachy. If you haven’t had much experience as a runner you might not be able to relate to the story. But as Murakami himself admits in the book, he writes what he likes and not necessarily what sells.
The book is highly recommended if you are running enthusiast. If not, you should try some of the other works by Murakami.
At Least He Never Walked
Once there lived a boy. A boy with dreams, with aspirations and above all faith. He believed in chance, destiny and all things good.
While crossing the road, he spotted something that caught his eye. It was beautiful. It was red. It was a rose. It was perfect. He went up to the rose.The rose completed him, it complemented him. He could talk to her about anything and everything. Just once glance of her made his day. The fragrance from the rose filed his heart. “It is as if God wants us to meet” said the rose.
The boy was naive. He was in love. He misconstrued things. Maybe he exaggerated things. But he was honest.
The rose belonged to someone else.
“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…
“They don’t find it,” I answered.
“And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”
“Of course,” I answered.
And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.” ”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)