It's the last week and it has finally begun to feel like the first again. I'm seeing everything as though it was new, because it will soon be gone. The elderly couple that feeds pigeons every morning by the river, the kids playing soccer in the fields, the way the path curves around and crosses a small tributary allowing me to become one with the water for a brief moment. And in the grocery store, all the things that I will miss, though I never buy them. The vegetable granola, and the bean and tofu one, too, the various chocolate filled cookies, the flavored soy milks, the prepared foods of dozens of varieties, matcha taiyaki, and a diaper brand called Moony. These things aren't a part of my daily life, but their possibility is. They are all collected together, here and now, accessible, viewable, purchasable, in a way they will never be again.
How long will it take for my eyes to become accustomed again? Is it a change in perception, or is it the cleaning off of the assumption of existence? Is it possible to keep this open and clear over time, or must we necessarily gain familiarity? But in the expectations of the daily, there are still so many beautiful things. Nothing is every truly the same. Even day after day.
It's just the larger things that I've come to assume that are becoming more beloved in these final days. I can navigate the bike path so well, knowing the various characters that frequent it and how to accommodate them. I know what foods I need to buy at the grocery store and which others aren't really essential for daily living. It has been helpful to become familiar. But I will no longer need these assets. I'm happy to go back to my new eyes of ignorance. To go back to not knowing Japan so that I may come to know it again, at least for each of the final days I have here.