Disclaimer: This post will include major spoilers for the book titled “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami. You may want to check out the book before proceeding. You can purchase the book from bookdepository.
The book I mentioned in the disclaimer really made me feel a wide variety of emotions. None of which were positive. Despite that, it was a really engaging book that made me want to read to find out the conclusion. I wanted to so badly to know why the wife, who still loved her husband, cheated on him with other men and just left without saying anything after. I was not angry at her. I was simply devasted. Despite being nothing but the reader, I felt hurt, lost and hopeless. I wanted more than anything to know why she left, where she went to and what the main character could do to get her back. I really really wanted the main character to get her back one way or another. This sense of hopelessness and despair really got to me and honestly, even after completing the book, I still feel horrible. I’m mainly writing this post because I still feel so horrible. I just want to type everything out and let my feelings flow. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go through everything he (the mc) went through.
After dwelling on this feeling of loss and immense sadness, I decided to seek out the reason as to why I felt so horrible. The conclusion I came to, was that I did not know what the wife was thinking and her actions came so suddenly and were so drastically extreme that I was simply at a loss. For me, personally, I am the type of person that wants those I care about to tell me exactly how they are feeling and what they are going to do. To put it simply, I want them to communicate with me. Just as the mc and his wife communicating so well with each other during their six years of their marriage before she started seeing other men without the mc’s knowledge. Perhaps, the loyalty and unwavering trust the mc had towards his wife was what made her leaving him all of a sudden all the more heart-wrenching.
The question that all this pain has brought unto me is, “When is it okay to not share your thoughts and feelings?”
I thought about this because, as much as I despaired over how the wife just left without a word, I myself know that often times, I don’t share how I feel or what I’m thinking. In fact, it is a rare occurrence for me to do so. However, can bottling up my thoughts and emotions potentially hurt others? Even if I was simply doing so to try to prevent others from being unnecessarily burdened? I know the things that I am keeping from others is nowhere close to as hurtful as what the wife kept from her husband but still, it cannot be denied that hiding my thoughts and feelings may be hurting those that care about me.
As I mentioned earlier, I am the type of person who wants those I care about to communicate with me and tell me what’s wrong when something is bothering them. Yet, when I look at myself, I realise that many times, I do not do what I want others to do for me. Communicate. I bottle everything up and see that my problems are solved by me alone. Since they are, ultimately, my problems. However, I never really thought about how I must look to others. To those who care about me. Do they worry about me when I fail to hide my pain as I struggle to solve my own internal conflicts? Do they worry when I’m even quieter than usual and seem to be deep in thought? Do they wonder what I could be thinking and whether they should be concerned? At the end of the day, I’ll never really know how much people worry about me. Yet, at the same time, others would never know what is wrong with me if I never tell them. All they would be able to do is speculate.
For those that care, that is a very painful thing to do. This was made evident to me by the mc’s actions and thoughts in the book “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. He thought long and hard about why his wife left him, where she went to and how to get her back. The entire time he was searching for the answers he wanted, it was extremely painful and I myself kept thinking about the possible answers to those questions. The pain of not knowing what the person you care about is going through and having to speculate for yourself is truly a painful task. I’m frustrated at my lack of vocabulary to describe this as anything but painful. I feel that it is more intense and slightly different feeling from pain, but “painful” is the closest feeling I can name to describe this feeling.
The book delves in many other philosophical topics like one’s sense of self among many others but for me, I felt most strongly, most inclined, towards the despair the man felt having suddenly lost his wife. I highly recommend getting the book and experiencing for yourself what I went through and am going through right now. Although, I cannot guarantee that you will feel the same way I did as I was reading the book. Neither can I guarantee that you will feel the way I do after reading the book.