Bikes parked in front of the supermarket.

Next week we go to our old stomping grounds. It is exciting, the prospect of travel, mainly, but also of reconnecting with a place that was once our place. It is an interesting experience, to overlay your tattered psychogeographical map with the present reality. Not just the present reality of the physical place, the new buildings that replaced the ones you knew, the street vendors who always said hello who have disappeared into retirement or ash. No, the biggest change is your perspective. The people we were when we first arrived in Japan were the ones to capture that initial concept of place. Now we will visit with a broader understanding of not just Japan, the culture and language, but also of ourselves and how we relate to Japan.

For the kids, the trip is not only about their personal history but about going to all the places that they are learning about in school. #2 in particular is fascinated by history and is super excited to see tombs and temples and buildings. We’ll only be gone a week but it is a big deal for them. We have not been on a proper vacation in, well, ever. We usually just move or go to a nearby city to take care of some paperwork (technically this trip is one of those trips because we are renewing passports but you know, it is all how you frame it).

I will take a lot of pictures for the big memoir-esque project I am working on though I must admit, the book has lost some of its appeal recently. I like making things up and it is a strain to continuously draw from my memory instead of my imagination. Though of course, the two are inseparable but to lean so heavily on my memories is to risk falling through a thousand fragile layers of spent time and misconceptions. We’ll see how it goes. Right now, I just want to get that painting done so I can get the draft of the illustrated story finished. And study, study, study, of course (I always have to add that, just for my better half’s sake. In reality I study very little, preferring to lay flat on my back and stare at the ceiling until I end up falling asleep, no matter what time it is, and have bizarre dreams like the one I had this afternoon of being surrounded by ghost arms).

Now, back to my sewing project and maybe a late night walk. Or maybe I will save the sewing for tomorrow and just go for a walk. That sounds like the best plan, right? I agree.