This has been the first day of organizing things to move. I've gone through electronic files in an effort to back up my computer, and sifted through specific items that I'm hoping to give away, taking pictures of all of them to help others decide whether or not they are interested. I sorted through Japanese papers with the handwriting of Kaneko-san and my own translations and clarifications in English, reading through these early conversations as we worked towards understanding. I looked through old pictures from the first days of my arrival, marveling at the simplest things, signage with Japanese writing, people on the train. How strange to see myself becoming accustomed to Japan in fast motion as I'm peeling away the layers from it. I've stopped seeing it in the same way. Life has become life, though still not without its beauty. I saw my first pictures of shodo, the beginning. Some things grow, other fade. I'm no longer amused by all the soy sauce in the grocery stores, but the rice paddies of the countryside are still captivating, autumn is still magical.
There is still a lot of sorting and sifting to do. I'm returning to the early days of having very little, living very lightly. They are coming, until everything evaporates and I'm no longer here.