The other night, I opened up Murakami’s collection of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, to read my 3-4 pages of creative work (that’s as much as I can manage these days before the words turn into a blurry mess). I’ve skipped around the collection a bit over the past year, but decided recently to take it story by story. (After attempting to read a novel and being overwhelmed by all the ramifications of my stroke, I decided to read short stories, and decided to read this collection in order so that I remember which stories I do read, etc,. etc.).
Imagine my surprise when I finished the short story 3 pages in.
It was the title story to the collection, and I had been slowly reading it over the course of a few days.
I closed the book with a bittersweet sense of accomplishment. In a sense, it was huge because this was the first story I have been able to finish reading since my stroke. To be honest, the experience is a bit abstract: I don’t remember every detail of the story, just a general gist, but I get a sense of the story and I officially finished reading it with a general understanding of things. There’s satisfaction in that achievement. Albeit bittersweet. It was not an option on my part to finish a short story over the course of a week, nor is it my option to hold it in such foggy memory.
I can only hope that the story has made it into the cortex of my brain somehow and that I will remember it deeply.