And her heart burst like the stars do in the end, and She fell on her knees. But the whole world looked her in awe. She lit the whole universe with her fire for a moment. In the end, she was as beautiful as the stardust falling from the sky and her heart didn't ache anymore.
I tried to find a way to go on. I could see familiar traces of the path that was my life, but there was always the wall behind me. Do you know what I mean? First you try and climb, pretending it never happened, but it's too tall. Then you try to go around, thinking you can fix it, but it is too far. Then, in frustration, you beat on it with your hands, but it does nothing, so you tire and sit down and just stare at it. You stare because you can't bring yourself to walk away. Walking away means that you're giving up, abandoning them.
"There is no way back. There is only forward. It's impossible to imagine there's any reason to move ahead, but that isn't the real reason you give up. The real fear--the terror that keeps you rooted--is that you might be wrong."
--Myron, Monk of Maribor
Shimamoto was in charge of the records. She'd take one from its jacket, place it carefully on the turntable without touching the grooves with her fingers, and, after making sure to brush the cartridge free of any dust with a tiny brush, lower the needle ever so gently onto the record. When the record was finished, she'd spray it and wipe it with a felt cloth. Finally she'd return the record to its jacket and its proper place on the shelf. Her father had taught her this procedure, and she followed his instructions with a terribly serious look on her face, her eyes narrowed, her breath held in check. Meanwhile, I was on the sofa, watching her every move. Only when the record was safely back on the shelf did she turn to me and give a little smile. And every time, this thought hit me: It wasn't a record she was handling. It was a fragile soul inside a glass bottle.
It was the hour in which objects lose the consistency of shadow that accompanies them during the night and gradually reacquire colors, but seem to cross meanwhile an uncertain limbo, faintly touched, just breathed on by light; the hour in which one is least certain of the world's existence.