Sunday, April 6, 2014

Return to the Library

It was only by accident that I found the library last week on my bike.  When I tried to retrace my path today to return my book, it seemed to have vanished into the hills of Takarazuka like Brigadoon.  Luckily, it was on a rail line, which is conspicuous and can be followed, once found.  I just had to run into the Hankyu line.  I couldn't give up.  I had to return my book:  we're going on tour and I don't know how to renew it online.

The wind was hard and cold, and all the hills went up (both ways) but I finally made it there.  My determination to deposit my book and head home dissolved as I felt the warm peace of the library; I think it is a common denomination across all cultures.  Time ceases to exist, one is welcomed and enticed to let curiosity lead as it pleases.

I headed to the children's section because there are pictures there, which I can understand.  I walked through and looked at the different sections of interest: "Outer Space," "Animals," "Math," "History,"  "Picture Books,"  and "Books for Reading Practice."  I found several books for teaching Japanese braille.

I walked through the adult sections and went to the area I had found last week that has international books.  Bilingual editions and about a dozen books in English.  There was a cookbook that looked interesting, books on becoming accustomed to Japan and various aspects of the culture, some poetry, some language, several shelves of various things.

Nothing for now.  I cannot return a book within the next two weeks and so will have to suspend my curiosity and intrigue for the time being.

It is such an incentive to learn Japanese to be surrounded by all these objects that have things to say.  Somebody wanted to say something and they put it in a book and I'm not doing my part on the receiving end of things.  My incomprehension also makes me realize how amazing it is that we are able to learn to read.  I suppose my ability to read English is amazing, but I've come to take it for granted.  I cannot read the vast majority of the books in this Japanese library.  They have thousands of symbols that are, and perhaps always will be, foreign to me.

But the feeling of possibility is still there.  That quiet excitement and welcome of a library, where it seems that anything is possible.

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