Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up

I happen to start reading this novel today, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. On its first chapter, I found this passage. I don’t try to be ‘that’ sensitive, but just think that this might be a ‘well said description’ between you and me once arguing about our point of view.
“No, it’s a terrible way to die,” said Naoko, brushing a cluster of grass seed from her jacket. “The best thing would be to break your neck, but you’d probably just break your leg and then you couldn’t do a thing. You’d yell at the top of your lungs, but nobody would hear you, and you couldn’t expect anyone to find you, and you’d have centipedes and spiders crawling all over you, and the bones of the ones who died before are scattered all around you, and it’s dark and soggy, and high overhead there’s this tiny, tiny circle of light like a winter moon. You die there in this place, little by little, all by yourself.”
“Yuck, just thinking about it makes my flesh creep,” I said.
“Somebody should find the thing and build a wall around it.”
“But nobody can find it. So make sure you don’t go off the path.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t.” Naoko took her left hand from her pocket and squeezed my hand.
“Don’t you worry,” she said. “You’ll be OK. You could go running all around here in the middle of the night and you’d never fall into the well. And as long as I stick with you, I won’t fall in, either.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“I just know,” she said, increasing her grip on my hand and walking
along in silence. “I know these things. I’m always right. It’s got
nothing to do with logic: I just feel it. For example, when I’m really close to you like this, I’m not the least bit scared. Nothing dark or evil could ever tempt me.”
“Well, that’s the answer,” I said. “All you have to do is stay with me like this all the time.”
“Do you mean that?”
“Of course.”
Naoko stopped short. So did I. She put her hands on my shoulders and peered into my eyes. Deep within her own pattern. Those beautiful eyes of hers were looking inside me for a long, long time. Then she stretched to her full height and touched her cheek to mine. It was a marvelous, warm gesture that stopped my heart for a moment.
“Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” I answered.
“I’m so happy you said that. Really happy,” she said with a sad smile.
“But it’s impossible.”
“Impossible? Why?”
“It would be wrong. It would be terrible. It – “
Naoko clamped her mouth shut and started walking again. I could tell
that all kinds of thoughts were whirling around in her head, so rather than intrude on them I kept silent and walked by her side.
“It would be wrong – wrong for you, wrong for me,” she said after a
long pause.
“Wrong how?” I murmured.
“Don’t you see? It’s just not possible for one person to watch over another person forever and ever. I mean, suppose we got married. You’d have to work during the day. Who’s going to watch over me while you’re away? Or if you go on a business trip, who’s going to watch over me then? Can I be glued to you every minute of our lives? What kind of equality would there be in that? What kind of relationship would that be? Sooner or later you’d get sick of me. You’d wonder what you were doing with your life, why you were spending all your time babysitting this woman. I couldn’t stand that. It wouldn’t solve any of my problems.”
“But your problems are not going to continue for the rest of your life,” I said, touching her back. “They’ll end eventually. And when they do, we’ll stop and think about how to go on from there. Maybe you will have to help me. We’re not running our lives according to some account book. If you need me, use me. Don’t you see? Why do you have to be so rigid? Relax, let down your guard. You’re all tensed up so you always expect the worst. Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.”
“How can you say that?” she asked in a voice drained of feeling.
Naoko’s voice alerted me to the possibility that I had said something I shouldn’t have.
“Tell me how you could say such a thing,” she said, staring at the ground beneath her feet. “You’re not telling me anything I don’t know already. “Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.’ What’s the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I’d fall apart. I’ve always lived like this, and it’s the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I’d never find my way back. I’d go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can’t you see that? How can you talk about watching over me if you can’t see that?”
I said nothing.
I know every time you try that hard to convince me honey, and that every single time too, I just can do nothing. Sorry for that. You shouldn’t have to waste your time on me doing that.

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