Today was my last lesson with Fukunari-sensei until the next year. It's been two weeks since I saw her and in the meantime I have studied less furiously and my Japanese has had a chance to decompress. Somehow, this often makes me hear more, understand more, speak more. But I know that without those study periods there would be nothing to decompress. The ebb and flow and learning.
And in this decompression, as I'm hearing and understanding more, I could more completely understand what she was saying to me this evening. Familiar words became sentences, and I was able to appreciate something that I don't think I had previously realized in her teaching: her careful usage of grammar from the last few lessons and of previous lessons that I have learned. At one point in the evening she used grammar that I didn't understand and then took a moment to find it in the book, apologizing that it was something in the coming lessons. She is so careful and considerate, always checking my face for honest comprehension, always explaining as needed.
I'm enjoying the emerging of understanding under her watch. To listen to Japanese for an hour and feel the frustration of the past melt away, to be excited to practice conversations rather than anxious. Reflecting on the path this has been and continues to be, I think I will have a resource of understanding for anyone who finds a difficulty in expression. I know that there is more in me than I can say and it takes a lot of patience to allow it to come to fruition, though it never fully will. Perhaps this is true of everyone.
I appreciate the culture of lessons because I think it is a space that encourages this expression. There is an exchange between the teacher and student encouraging the pulling out of something that hasn't yet been realized.
And I'm grateful to be able to have such a wonderful example to carry with me in the future.