Excerpt from Kusamakura by Natsume Soseki. in this world for twenty years, I understood that it was a world worth living in. At twenty-five I realized that light and dark are sides of the same coin; that wherever the sun shines, shadows too must fall. Now, at thirty, here is what I think: where joy grows deep, sorrow must deepen; the greater one’s pleasures, the greater the pain. If you try to sever the two, life falls apart. Try to control them, and you will meet with failure. Money is essential, but with the increase of what is essential to you, anxieties will invade you even in sleep. Love is a happy thing, but as this happy love swells and grows heavy, you will yearn instead for the happy days before love came into your life. Splendid though he is, a cabinet minister must bear a million people on his shoulders; the weight of the whole nation rests heavy upon his back. If something is delicious, it goes hard not to eat it, yet if you eat a little you only desire more, and if you gorge yourself on it, it leaves you unpleasantly bloated. . . .
When I had lived
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