It is a new day! Embrace it!


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“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ― L.M. Montgomery

Some days are difficult and what gets me through them is knowing that tomorrow is another day.  Thanks Heaven for each new day! It brings new opportunities, new chances to start over and get things done.

Some days feels like a wasted day.  I look back and realize I accomplished nothing.  I am trying not to waste energy being sorry for yesterday’s failures.  There is nothing I can do about it.  I just need to focus on the now!

My wish for you (and I) is that you fully embrace each new day! Don’t waste today by dwelling on yesterday! You can’t change the past, but todays is yours to do as you please.

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Say What?


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“Our hearts are not stones. A stone may disintegrate in time and lose its outward form. But hearts never disintegrate. They have no outward form, and whether good or evil, we can always communicate them to one another.” ― Haruki Murakami

and then there were none…

Date update: The Renter is history. After saying he would never go silent again, he did.  I let it go. I know that if I said hello he would start chatting again, but what is the point?  He is clearly not interested and by now neither am I.

The Swiss is also making it clear that he is not interested.  He will respond if I reach out but he is never the one to make contact anymore.  I lost interest in even trying to cultivate a friendship. 

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

That brings me to The Enigma. After showering me with poems, songs, and tons of promises of an amazing fairytale, I noticed some distance in the communication.  I reached out a couple of times, but then decided to let it go and see what would happen. 

 After 2 days of silence I got the below text. After some reflection I replied 1 hour later.

“I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me.
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.”
― Walt Whitman

What am I supposed to respond? Of course I wanted details.  I also wanted to help him.  But at this point it seems the Universe if giving me an out so I better take it and don’t question it.

I guess by now, after years of online dating, nothing should surprise me anymore, but people always do.  His text was baffling.  I knew he was dealing with a painful leg injury.  He was shot in an attempted robbery last year.  But apparently there is much more than that. What happened to all the promises of a beautiful relationship?

Some of what he had told me was hard for me to belief because it was so foreign to my simple 9 to 5 work life.  It seemed the stuff that war and spy movies are made of. At one point I mentioned to him that his stories seemed fake, and if they were true that I didn’t know if I could handle it.  Every time we spoke I bombarded him with questions.  I wanted to understand what was in store if we embarked in a future together.  Perhaps he got tired of the interrogation even though he said he was an open book and seemed to welcome all my questions.

“You know there’s no such thing as a complete lie. There’s always some truth in there.” ― David Levithan

He said that he had been in some war conflicts, even getting shot and saving someone’s life by carrying them to safety.  He mentioned being part of a Ranger Regiment.  He said that he was currently involved in strategy with a mercenary company in Russia.  He is partners in dozens of businesses in the US and a couple overseas.  There was a lot he mentioned but I rather keep things somewhat vague here, so I am leaving off the actual names of the companies and certain specific details.  

He had also been a teacher, ran free medical clinics, volunteered at pet shelters, paid for college for a few students, paid for prison commissary for others, among other various things.  He seemed to have lived so many lives.  It was hard not be in awe.

He never seemed annoyed and always seemed willing to try to explain his world to me.  He wanted to assure me that I had no reason to fear him.  He sent me links to news writings and YouTube videos about the military companies in Russia he was currently involved in and the Ranger Regiments he had been in.  

Some of the information he sent me did demystify some aspects of it while others made me even more concerned. 

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky

He said he was planning to go back to school next year and complete another degree. He said he wanted to leave the past behind and that made me happy.

I still think that he was a nice person with a good heart.  I never met anyone so caring and that acted so gentlemanly towards me.  I will miss the smart conversations and the infinite possibilities that being with him held.  I never met anyone so knowledgeable about everything, specially history, art and literature.

I spent some time trying to understand the meaning of his text but some things I will never understand,  He could have called me.  I would not have talked him out of anything.  We talked about being friends no matter what.  It is disappointing that it ends with a text.  I guess he will forever be The Enigma. I will never know if the things that he has told me were true or perhaps just an exaggeration. 

I owe him and the Universe a huge thanks for making the situation clear cut for me.  I no longer have to decide if I can or cannot handle his past and whatever issues he has. I chose kindness with my reply and I believe in my heart that he chose kindness with his text.

I will miss feeling like a muse and princess.  And the search for my prince continues…

“I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones. Basically it is nothing other than this fear we have so often talked about, but fear spread to everything, fear of the greatest as of the smallest, fear, paralyzing fear of pronouncing a word, although this fear may not only be fear but also a longing for something greater than all that is fearful.” ― Franz Kafka



Eternally grateful for you my friend!


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“I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.” ― Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon

I have so much to be grateful for.  Today I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge YOU, my friend and fellow blogger.  You enrich my life daily with your words, post and comments.

Some of you, and you know who you are, have become very dear friends.  I look forward to your visit always and dream of the day we meet in person.  You make me laugh and you make me cry.  You make me better.

Thank you for your insight, wisdom, care, support, generosity and friendship.   Thank you for making me realize I am not alone and will never be alone.

I started this blog our of pain.  I continue this blog our of the joy you bring me.

You are in my heart and in my prayers. You are my hope, faith and joy. May the blessings you shower me with return to you tenfold.

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” ― Thomas Merton

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

a Prince? a frog? neither, just a dream!


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“The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.” ― Jaggi Vasudev

I was awake at 4 am Googling the meaning of dreaming about frogs.

In the dream I am sitting at my desk at home watching movies one after another.  In all of the movies there were frogs.  In the last movie there was Tom Hanks biting the head off a frog.   I thought to myself: Why am I watching A Fish Called Wanda again?

Who knows why I thought Tom Hanks was in that movie, or perhaps I thought it was A Frog called Wanda. I never saw the movie but I know that Tom Hanks was not in it.

Right after watching Tom Hanks bite the head of the frog I looked down at my desk and there were 2 small frogs.  A dark green one stretched out as if dead and a bright green one happy smiling at me.

“Every moment there are a million miracles happening around you: a flower blossoming, a bird tweeting, a bee humming, a raindrop falling, a snowflake wafting along the clear evening air. There is magic everywhere. If you learn how to live it, life is nothing short of a daily miracle.”― Sadhguru

I thought: how strange and I smiled back at the smiling one.  The strangest thing was that I was not afraid of them at all.  Then I woke up.

According to one website, dreaming about frogs is a positive thing, it generally means transformation, rebirth.  I like that.  I stopped searching before I encountered anything negative. 

I am also coming up with my own meaning.  I have always been afraid of frogs.  Growing up in an area where they tended to appear I was always on the lookout for them.  My fear was that one would jump on me.  I am seeing this dream as my inner child making peace with the things that scared me in the past, and still scare me. 

“The fear is simply because you are not living with life, You are living in your mind.” ― Sadhguru

There is also the fairytale meaning of frogs becoming princes.  I have been dating an endless list of frogs lately.  They all come full of promise but never stick around long enough to become the prince.

Actually it is more the other way around.  They come in looking like a prince and then they turn into a frog.

The best thing is that I finally can honestly say without any reservation: I don’t care.  Come or go, just don’t block the door.  It feels great not giving a frog’s (well, rat’s) behind about what anyone says or does.

“If you resist change, you resist life.”― Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

I find myself more and more perfectly content with the present moment.  I am okay with men that come full of promises, but fail to deliver.   Nothing changes when a man that promised me the world delivers nothing.  Nothing.  It just means that they are not the one. It is all a part of this wonderful thing called My Life.

In a weird way, to me it means I am getting closer and closer.

I don’t lose faith in mankind and love.  My heart doesn’t grow cold and solid.  These are all experiences that contribute to my beauty, to my story.  I have to take the bad with the good.  I have to embrace it all.  It doesn’t mean that accept less than I deserve or bad treatment.  It just means that whatever they do or don’t do have no bearing in me and my emotions.

 “I am not talking about you being a spectator, I am talking about involvement. I am talking about involving yourself into life in such a way that you dissolve into it.” ― Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

This growth means making sure that I am being fully present every single time.  It means not giving up.  It means feeling amazing every time no matter the outcome.  It is all within me and nothing from the outside.

I am still me.  I am still amazing and still open minded and with an open heart ready for the next adventure.  Will the next one be the one?  Will he be a prince or a frog?  Who knows?  I know that I will certainly continue trying and continue being grateful for meeting new frogs, I mean, people.

“When pain, misery, or anger happen, it is time to look within you, not around you.”   ― Sadhguru



I am Phenomenal, and you are too!


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“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ― Nora Ephron

We are all amazing, men, women and children, but this post is dedicated to all the amazing women out there that forget how amazing and powerful they really are.

My sister and I were visiting friends last weekend.  This couple has lived in various parts of the world due to the husband’s job.  The wife’s life took a backseat to improve his career.  Now they are living in the US, and for the first time since she got married (17 years ago) she has a job.  She is working for Amazon in a warehouse.  She learned how to drive, lost 30 pounds, has her own money, and is feeling invincible.  

For the record they have no kids and had no financial issues. His money was hers also.  She didn’t need to work, specially in such a physical demanding job.  But her pride in describing her job,  and the demands of it, is infectious.  She mentioned that even her marriage improved.

My wish is for more women to discover their power, their independence, their strength, to reclaim themselves and to take ownership of their life and happiness. In whatever way that means, get a job, go back to school, do volunteer work, follow your passion and your bliss.

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” ― Diane Von Furstenberg

Another day, another cancelation…


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“If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.” ― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

He canceled.

I cannot say I am surprised.  He had canceled twice before we finally met. Cancelation is in his blood.

I had a feeling he would.  I noticed a certain distance in the texting yesterday and he skipped the nightly phone call. 

This morning at 7am I texted him. I was not going to reach out but I decided not to be waiting the whole day wondering if a date would or would not happen.

Here is the exchange:

I am not assuming anything about him at this point.  I am not dismissing him or thinking it is all over.  What I know is that if this is the way it is going to be then it will not work for me. 

I remain open-minded with an open heart.  I met him in person and he seems like a good person. Just perhaps not good for me.  We will see what happens.  Your guess is as good as mine.

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda

By the way, he also mentioned the other day that his trip overseas was canceled due to some of the people that were going with him having Visa issues.

So many questions about so many things. His health issues and injuries. His work overseas.  His time in the war.  I was hoping to continue my interrogation tonight 🙂

“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” ― Stephen King

Thanks heaven for good friends.  My friend A. texted me to wish good luck on the date tonight.  I actually met A. on a dating site in 2015.  We went on a couple of dates and then just became best friends. Our friendship keeps blossoming, and I am grateful for that.

I am not feeling down but so appreciate his attempt to lift my spirits.

Here is his reaction:

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” ― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

Finally the date with The Enigma happens


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“Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait ’til the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”― Isaac Newton

I am going to start by apologizing.  First, I didn’t have a chance to finish the post about going on the date with The Enigma, so that draft went to the trash. It was all about expecting without having expectations. Second, this post, about finally going on the date, will be a rush job.

The date was on Friday at The Rambling House in the Bronx.  We met outside on the street.  He was parked in a no parking zone waiting for me so he could direct me where to park. He exited his car with a big bouquet of flowers for me (pic below).  I gave him a hug.

I was so surprised.  I didn’t expect flowers at all. In hindsight I should have since he is very romantic and such a gentleman.  I was also surprised that he knew that I was not a roses kind of girl. My favorite flowers are sunflowers and daisies, and any yellow flowers. It had 3 beautiful sunflowers in the bouquet.  He said roses are too predictable.

He also brought me a book.  “Living from The Soul – The 7 Spiritual Principles of Ralph Waldo Emerson” by Sam Torode.   He said he bought one for him also.  I joked that we will have a mini book club now. Pic below.

From there I followed him in his car.  He pointed to a space and said I should park there and walk to the restaurant because it would probably take him a little bit to find another space. He still got to the restaurant before I did.

He was wearing glassed and smelled nice. He was casually dressed in khakis and a flannel shirt.  I was surprised how happy and smiley he was.  His pictures had him always so serious and mysterious.

“A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do, but what he should do.” ― Haruki Murakami

He was not fat, but heavier than his pictures.  I had already expected that since he had told me that he hasn’t been able to exercise since his leg injury. And as a side note he had a hospital bracelet on.  Not from last week’s trip to the hospital. From just that morning.  He fell in the middle of the night as he attempted to navigate a spiral staircase in the dark in flip flops.  An ambulance had to be called.  He said that he would go to this date even if he had to crawl.

We had a great time.  The conversation flowed.  He had a cider and I had a cosmo.  A girl passed around offering free beer but we both declined.  He is Irish but not much of a beer drinker. He had the turkey and I had the salmon.  We shared a cheesecake for dessert.

I am not sure how much he tipped but the 2 waitresses came back 3 times each to the table to say thank you.  I asked him and he just said he is a good tipper.  Another point for him. I dislike bad tippers.

He held my hand and told me how beautiful I was and how great I smelled.  He made me feel beautiful, special and safe.

“The gentleman is dignified but not arrogant. The small man is arrogant but not digified” ― Confucius

The date lasted about 3 hours. I could tell his leg was hurting him, so I suggested we go.  We said goodbye at my car door with a quick hug and a peck on the cheek near the lips.  Everything was very easy and comfortable with him.

We are going on a second date on Wednesday. It is my turn to choose where to go, so we will probably stick to my neighborhood so I don’t have to drive.

On Thursday he is going to travel to a couple of different countries for business.  He said he will be in touch every day but we shall see how that will go.

I have many questions about one of his businesses and his overseas traveling. I don’t want to imply that it is something shady but it is just so foreign and mysterious to me.  He already mentioned a lot to me and says I can ask whatever questions I want, but at this point I am not even sure what questions to ask.

At one point I told him that his stories seem fake, about the war, etc.  He laughed and didn’t get offended.  He knows I will say what comes to mind and as I see it.

For now I am taking it all in slowly.  I am enjoying his attention.  The future seems so full of promise.  But we all know that I have been here before, so I am proceeding with caution.

“If people just took it a day at a time, they’d be a lot happier.” ― Richard Bachman

In love with creating


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“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” ― Roy T. Bennett

I present you my latest creation.  Yes, another table. Again, believe me when I tell you that it looks much better in person.  The colors are vibrant, the the gold and silver very shiny!  

I may paint the table red or black to make the tiles pop, but I can’t decide on which color, so for now it is just brown.

I have started another project.  It is not a table…yippie, I am not a one-trick pony. It is a gift for my mother, and I am so love with it. Stay tuned for that one.

“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.

“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.

“Certainly,” said man.

“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.

And He went away.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Craddle

Not Elementary my dear friends


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“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle

I thought that today I would be telling you all about my date yesterday.  Unfortunately the date never happened!

As I was about to start getting ready for the date I got a phone call from my date.  He said he was calling from the emergency room.  He gave me the hospital name and   emergency room number.  He said he didn’t suppose I wanted our first date to be in the hospital. I said that it was a possibility.

“Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.”― Arthur Conan Doyle

I wouldn’t be opposed to go there to see him, but I know that most hospitals now aren’t accepting visitors because of COVID.  He kept me informed throughout the the evening and night as to what was going on. 

He went to the hospital because of a pain on his leg.  He had just finished physical therapy on it a week ago. I will not mention the nature of his injury at this point.  It is a kind of a wild story, that I rather know the details for sure before I mention anything.

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle

At the same moment my friend A. texted me to wish me luck on the date.  When I mentioned that he had canceled, my friend asked me if I was disappointed.  The weird thing is that I am and I am not. Lately, when it comes to dating I have been totally okay no matter what happens. 

Or perhaps deep down inside I already thought it wouldn’t happen so I was ready for it.

All is exactly as it is supposed to be. Of course I am curious, but I am not letting curiosity get the best of me. Time will tell.  Everything will be revealed in time.

“What one man can invent, another can discover.”― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

By 1 am his friend picked him up from the hospital.  Supposedly he was treated for blood clots and sent home.

He has a lot baggage, a lot history, and a lot medical issues from the baggage and history that he brings with him.  Can I handle all of that is one huge question that I have even before we meet? “Can” is not really the right question.  I can handle anything,  the most important question is do I want to?

“As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.”― Arthur Conan Doyle

In the meantime he is absolutely the most romantic, more interesting guy I have met in a long time or perhaps ever.  His life experience is so different than my own it is both enticing and scary.

This morning he sent me the following:

I Need Love – LL Cool J  (cover by Luke Bloom)

When I’m alone in my room sometimes I stare at the wall
And in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call
Telling me I need a girl who’s as sweet as a dove
For the first time in my life, I see I need love
There I was giggling about the games
That I had played with many hearts and I’m not saying no names
Then the thought occurred, tear drops made my eyes burn
‘Coz I said to myself look what you’ve done to her
I can feel it inside, I can’t explain how it feels
All I know is that I’ll never dish another raw deal

Playing make believe pretending that I’m true
Holding in my laugh as I say that I love you
Saying amor, kissing you on the ear
Whispering I love you and I’ll always be here
Although I often reminisce I can’t believe that I found
A desire for true love floating around
Inside my soul because my soul is cold
And half of me deserves to be this way till I’m old
But the other half needs affection and joy
And the warmth that is created by a girl and a boy

I need love
I need love

I wanna kiss you, hold you never scold you just love you
Suck on you neck, caress you and rub you
Grind moan and never be alone
If you’re not standing next to me you’re on the phone
Can’t you hear it in my voice, I need love bad
I’ve got money but love’s something I’ve never had
I need your ruby red lips sweet face and all
I love you more than a man who’s ten feet tall

I’d watch the sunrise in your eyes
We’re so in love when we hug we become paralyzed
Our bodies explode in ecstasy unreal
You’re as soft as a pillow and I’m as hard as steel
It’s like a dream land, I can’t lie I never been there
Maybe this is an experience that me and you can share
Clean and unsoiled yet sweaty and wet
I swear to you this is something I’ll never forget

I need love
I need love

See what I mean I’ve changed I’m no longer
A play boy on the run I need something that’s stronger
Friendship, trust honor respect admiration
This whole experience has been such a revelation
It’s taught me love and how to be a real man
To always be considerate and do all I can
Protect you you’re my lady and you mean so much
My body tingles all over from the slightest touch of your hand

And understand I’ll be frozen in time
Till we meet face to face and you tell me you’re mine
If I find you girl I swear I’ll be a good man
I’m not gonna leave it in destiny’s hands
I can’t sit and wait for my princess to arrive
I gotta struggle and fight to keep my dream alive
I’ll search the whole world for that special girl
When I finally find you watch our love unfurl

I need love
I need love

Girl, listen to me
When I be sittin’ in my room all alone, staring at the wall
Fantasies, they go through my mind
And I’ve come to realize that I need true love
And if you wanna give it to me girl make yourself seen
I’ll be waiting, I love you

“A man always finds it hard to realize that he may have finally lost a woman’s love, however badly he may have treated her.”― Arthur Conan Doyle

Bluebird by Charles Bukowski


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I am happy. I am sorry if you are not. I am praying for unity!

In the meantime I am getting ready for my date tonight. I AM EXCITED!

The Enigma, my date, as I am calling him, has over 5,000 books. One of his favorite authors is Charles Bukowski, of which he sent me the following: 

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do

“So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.” ― Haruki Murakami