“It’s a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit together looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you’re never bothered by the noise the water makes or by the commotion of the surface—it never seems too loud, or too wild.” (p. 22)
“Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we’ve ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves.” (p. 39)
“I felt a little lonely as I strolled back to the inn through the gathering dusk, alone this time. I wanted to hold on to the particular feeling of languor that I got as I walked the streets of this town, the town of my past, which I would lose when summer ended. This world of ours is piled high with farewells and goodbyes of so many different kinds, like the evening sky renewing itself again and again from one instant to the next-and I didn’t want to forget a single one.” (p. 111)
I kept expecting Tsugumi to die, kept waiting for the farewell, kept waiting for the tears that separation always brings me. But, this is not what I found. Instead, I found a story told through the eyes of a girl in her late teens: of her summer, the beginning of her new life in Tokyo, and most of all of the relationship she has with her dramatic, self-obsessed cousin, Tsugumi.
The most I can do at this point is write three favorite passages from the novel, which I did at the top of the post, and hope for a more enlightening discussion at Tanabata’s on August 30.