mental landscapes

“One thing I wanted to tell you is that I often think of him,” Tamaru said. 
“Not that I want to see him again or anything. I really don’t. We wouldn’t have anything to talk about, for one thing. It’s just that I still have this vivid image of him ‘pulling rats out’ of blocks of wood with total concentration, and that has remained an important mental landscape for me, a reference point. It teaches me something—or tries to. People need things like that to go on living—mental landscapes that have meaning for them, even if they can’t explain them in words. Part of why we live is to come up with explanations for these things. That’s what I think.” 
“Are you saying that they’re like a basis for us to live?” 
“Maybe so.” 
“I have such mental landscapes, too.” 
“You’d better handle them with care.”
“I will.”

1Q84, Haruki Murakami

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