It is mid-July and the temperatures are not what I associate with mid-July. The cicadas are just starting to crawl up from their underground lair and the evenings are cool enough for a light sweater. It rained today, a decent heavy rain which will revive the plants but not cause landslides. Some people still talk about ‘when the rainy season comes…’ but it is not coming this year. It got trapped in Kagoshima by an unexpected front and flooded the southern tip of Kyushu until the mountains lost their solidity.

Umi no hi (Marine Day) is on Monday, giving me two days off in a row. I still have not finished my mother’s painting nor have I bound the zines. I have watched some Netflix and fallen asleep on the bare floor in my work clothes. I also got the last book in the My Struggle collection. Was I supposed to be studying? I have made a deal with myself: if I can start attending evening Japanese lessons, I can use the morning hours for writing again. This has revived me but it did not cause me to wake up at 3 am this morning. 5 am obviously suited me better. I used to sleep in until just before breakfast time but now I must have at least an hour to myself in the mornings, an hour for coffee and toast, for staring off into space, for writing about rainy Thursdays and Knausgaard.

This weekend, I will finish the painting, bind the zines, and work on an essay about the housing industry in Japan. I will also watch the last episode of Stranger Things with my eldest and dress up my daughter in yukata for the festival at the neighborhood shrine. In less than a month, we head to Osaka/Nara/Nagoya for a week of passports, friends, and traipsing down memory lane. I’ll be taking a thousand pictures for my book, not to use in the book proper but to remind me of what is there compared to what I think is there.