Only after I became a married man did it truly dawn on me that I was an inhabitant of earth, the third planet of the solar system.  I lived on the earth, the earth revolved around the sun, and around the earth revolved the moon.  Like it or not, this would continue for eternity (or what could be regarded as eternity in comparison with my lifetime).  What induced me to see things this way was the absolute precision of my wife’s twenty-nine-day menstrual cycle.  It corresponded perfectly with the waxing and waning of the moon.  And her periods were always difficult.  She would become unstable – depressed even – for days before they began.  So her cycle became my cycle.  I had to be careful not to cause any unnecessary trouble at the wrong time of the month.  Before we were married, I hardly noticed the phases of the moon.  I might catch sight of the moon in the sky, but its shape at any given time was of no concern to me.  Now the shape of the moon was something I always carried around in my head.

—The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami


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