i’ve come back from the crisp canadian fall to persimmon season and the drenching wet of typhoons, music in the mornings and stephen’s smile. ah. home again, i guess. flying in over the fencerows and fields, lakes, rivers and highways, that are ontario, red brick houses, maple trees i thought “やっぱりthis is home.” and it is the place I feel most belonging in. But despite the granite shield and the loons and canoes, despite my friends and family and being able to speak without searching for words to approximate meaning, despite all this right now my home right now is a little town on a lake at the very centre of japan.
it is good to know this when sometimes i feel like i exist in two places at once.
through the open window at fuji electric i am watching a rain cloud coming in. i can measure its movement against the high level clouds and the white face-like building that i’ve always felt is watching me. the weather this time of year is unpredictable, sudden showers giving way to more heat, rain in the night like a vanished dream, winds whipping still-green leaves from the trees. we drove over the hill from suwa this morning, where we’ve nearly finished moving into our new flat, and found ourselves back in summer after twenty-four hours of nearly fall.
i’m nearly done here. i’ve turned my cubbyhole over to andrew and said goodbye to almost all my students, but i’ve not quite finished yet and can’t seem to let the tension go. this job has made me feel small all year, and i guess i can’t start growing until it’s over, completely. somewhere i read that lizards do that too, only grow to fit the space they’re in. people aren’t all that different either, i guess. a koi in a too-small pond.
tomorrow is my last day, and i can hardly wait.
we spent last night up at ari’s cozy place trying to get the next issue of the magazine together- i’m excited about the magazine again in a way i haven’t been all summer. it was so beautiful to drive up the grass tunnel of the river road, our new place is so much closer that everything is beginning to feel cozy.
it’s also the start of autumn, the season i always see as the beginning of the year, the start of new things.
halfmoon tonight and packing. it’s strange to be packing up place we’ve lived for the past year- it’s been a long time since i’ve lived anywhere this long- putting books into boxes and my potted plants into the car. dirt in my shoes and memories coming off the walls like the peeling paint in the bathroom in the new place. it’s funny that i’ve not come to love this apartment the way i thought i would, still i guess it’s been a tough year, i’ll admit that has something to do with it. but the new place… shines… in a way this one never did to me.
the start of a new year. a new home. and only eight more sleeps till i’m on holiday.
today i am the Voiceless Teacher:
i will play uno all day, look out the window
and make up stories
in my head.
i am the Saturday Worker
i will carry bags of books and games, drive by the river
and make my students
as if they can.
i am the saturday teacher voiceless
i will walk through dismal rooms, desperately in need of vacuums
i will hide from my boss
and blow my nose with abandon
to demonstrate the necessity
of sick days.
but only nine days of work to go. including this hot blue expanse of time, this morning-class day. nine more days of teaching, and then i’ll be a student again.
still, i am grasping at straws of calm. today they float down like clouds and i just miss them with stretched fingers. tottering.