Nov 16, 2020

18 Quotes from Memoirs of a Geisha book by Arthur Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha book by Arthur Golden.jpg

Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the book - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Memoirs of a Geisha tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Quotes

When a geisha wakes up in the morning she is just like any other woman. Her face may be greasy from sleep, and her breath unpleasant. It may be true that she wears a startling hairstyle even as she struggles to open her eyes; but in every other respect she's a woman like any other, and not a geisha at all. Only when she sits before her mirror to apply her makeup with care does she become a geisha. And I don't mean that this is when she begins to look like one. This is when she begins to think like one too.

A teahouse isn't for tea, you see; it's the place where men go to be entertained by geisha.

We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.

Dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes consume us completely.

Waiting patiently doesn't suit you. I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about - the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of a box. There's no doubt it's the most versatile of the five elements. It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can't survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven't drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?

Now, stumbling along in life is a poor way to proceed. You must learn how to find the time and place for things. A mouse who wishes to fool the cat doesn't simply scamper out of its hole when it feels the slightest urge.

We human beings are only a part of something very much larger. When we walk along, we may crush a beetle or simply cause a change in the air so that a fly ends up where it might never have gone otherwise. And if we think of the same example but with ourselves in the role of the insect, and the larger universe in the role we've just played, it's perfectly clear that we're affected every day by forces over which we have no more control than the poor beetle has over our gigantic foot as it descends upon it. What are we to do? We must use whatever methods we can to understand the movement of the universe around us and time our actions so that we are not fighting the currents, but moving with them.

We all know that a winter scene, though it may be covered over one day, with even the trees dressed in shawls of snow, will be unrecognizable the following spring. Yet I had never imagined such a thing could occur within our very selves. When I first learned the news of my family, it was as though I'd been covered over by a blanket of snow. But in time the terrible coldness had melted away to reveal a landscape I'd never seen before or even imagined.

The week in which a young girl prepares for her debut as an apprentice geisha is like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. It's a charming idea; but for the life of me I can't imagine why anyone ever thought up such a thing. A caterpillar has only to spin its cocoon and doze off for a while; whereas in my case, I'm sure I never had a more exhausting week.

Keep in mind that an apprentice on the point of having her mizuage is like a meal served on the table. No man will wish to eat it, if he hears a suggestion that some other man has taken a bite.

Grief is a most peculiar thing; we're so helpless in the face of it. It's like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.

Neither you nor I can know your destiny. You may never know it! Destiny isn't always like a party at the end of the evening. Sometimes it's nothing more than struggling through life from day to day.

Young girls hope all sorts of foolish things. Hopes are like hair ornaments. Girls want to wear too many of them. When they become old women they look silly wearing even one.

I expect you to go through life with your eyes open! If you keep your destiny in mind, every moment in life becomes an opportunity for moving closer to it.

Adversity is like a strong wind. I don't mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.

Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.

How curious it is, what the future brings us. You must take care, never to expect too much.

Our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.