Surprise Saturday: The Sandstorm of Fate

Haruki Murakami is one of the best-selling authors of all time. His books have sold over 20 million copies. They’re popular not just in Japan, where he’s from, but all over the world. To read Murakami, especially as a non-Japanese, is to open your mind.

In his words:

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

I have yet to digest his works, but this week, I found a quote of his I really enjoyed. It’s about the sandstorm of fate.

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn.”

Storms are a part of nature. They’re random. A necessary screw in the great wheel that keeps on turning. But if a storm keeps chasing you, maybe, it’s more than that.

“Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you.”

Some storms are meant for us. Made for us. And they’ll track us down until we accept our duty and step inside.

“So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.”

Storms aren’t fun. But they’re an essential part of mother nature’s cycle. So if they come after us, chances are, whatever pain they bring, we must face it. And it might get ugly.

“And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.”

No one wants to be the bad guy. But, sooner or later in our lives, we all are. We’re not white knights. We’re not dark knights. We’re grey, flawed humans. Sometimes the one, sometimes the other.

There are no winners in a storm. Just survivors and victims. But the one thing that’s sure is that whoever emerges from the dust will never be the same.

“And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”

Fate isn’t optional. It’s not always kind and definitely not what we’d like it to be. But like a storm howling across the plain, it’s as essential to life as the air filling our lungs with each breath. So stop running. Turn around. Step inside.

Because storms are here to show you who you’re meant to be.


About Surprise Saturday: In the long run, the only good pattern is breaking our patterns. That’s why, every once in a while, we need a shock to the system. An unexpected idea. A creative surprise. That’s what we’ll unwrap every Saturday.

Picasso said he didn’t seek. He just found. Let’s keep exploring.

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