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.



Filed under Reading, The Stroke

4 responses to “Completion

  1. congratulations, Jade! That is a wonderful accomplishment. Especially since I can’t remember or understand Murakami stories even withOUT a stroke. I think it takes some special kind of brain function that I just do not have.

  2. Well done Jade! The fact that you were able to read the story and remember the “gist” is a big accomplishment. As time goes by, read and write more when you are ready. I think these blogs and/or journals are a great way to track your progress. Keep us posted…..we are cheering you on!

  3. RC

    I know this is sort of silly, but have you tried poetry? It tends to be kind of short and, you know, impressionistic so you do not have to remember a lot of plot points. I recommend TS Eliot and John Berryman and e.e. cummings — very high school I know but they really enhanced my Vicodin experience when I had no attention span and you probably already own them in some anthology or other from college.

  4. Pingback: Completion on a larger scale « Writing Under a Pseudonym

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