Today I am meeting a locally-famous teacher-trainer to discuss becoming a coordinator for a language teachers’ group here in Hiroshima. It is a group I liked when I lived in Nagoya and part of my attempt to meet my teaching goals for the year. As an adult, I avoid these positions of responsibility after spending my adolescence as an environmental activist. I don’t like to be, well, looked at, I suppose. And yet, as The Smiths sang, shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to. And I would like to get tenure.

I know, I was just chatting about the idea of returning to the States. But then all these barriers sprung up and like always, I find it much easier just to stay put and work. I am not up to fighting the universe so I can uproot my kids and live near people who clearly do not desire my presence. It is fine, truly, and I hold no resentment, only love for them. I am not the gal for the job, that’s all. As long as they are okay, I am okay. Besides, there is the possibility of travelling back during the summer holidays, if I can get tenure, that is. Tenure is the golden rung that most teachers who remain here more than a year or so reach for and it has become more and more elusive. The law, since 2013, states that any employee that remains on the job for five years must be given a permanent position. So that means that the shitty jobs have an even higher turnover and the premium jobs have become even more scarce. And as I look around, my job is très fantastique. Actually, my first thought when I considered moving back home to help out with my friend was how sad I was to have to leave what is (besides for working at a cafe during high school) my best job ever. Especially since I have decided that it will be my last teaching job (with the idea of supporting myself from my wits and hands after that).

So now that the moving-back-to-Florida concept has been taken off the table again, I have to concentrate on getting a permanent position. Language skills (proficiency exam in December and July) plus a teaching certificate from the city. And I am more likely to get that certificate if I am more involved in the teaching community. I was honestly just hoping to attend workshops and meetings but I guess if the mountain won’t come to TMK, I must build the mountain myself.

I will eventually return to America, just when it is time. I want to do it right, not hastily. And I think I would like to do something like run a cafe that is community orientated. Because what America desperately needs is for its communities to be rebuilt. And so along with all the other things I am up to, I have decided that my birthday present to myself this year will be cooking lessons. And the great thing about this present is that I just have to show up and cook, no coordinating involved. Even the ingredients are arranged for me. What a luxury.

Afternoon nap dreams-

Liminal dreams: the beach, the waves, hometown, children running, sand sparkling, the waves rising, rising until their surge is all I see

REM dreams: went to this train station in Nagasaki that had been bombed 74 years ago. It was empty and I was with my daughter, I had been going to find a psychologist in a brown apartment building, he had a thick moustache and smelled of pipe tobacco and fried foods, he was of the 70s, the whole scene was of the 70s, the light and colors, unmistakable. And yet in order to get there, I had to take a train, but it was alarmingly deserted, the station, and I was concerned about the lights, there was a set on the platform that could not turn towards the tracks and it was growing dark. I left my daughter on the console and went to the simple covered platform and climbed up the wall to move the light. And when I was finishing there was a great sparkling of light and I looked and saw lightning fingers spreading out all across the sky and I went to tell my daughter to take cover but she was holding this metal rod up like a spear and wanting to protect her I jumped down on the tracks to get to her quickly and then a giant freight train the size of a skyscraper on its side pulled into the station and though I got off the tracks it was still coming straight at me, the lights were blinding and for a moment, I could see a kitchen in them, a family eating dinner, a grandmother at the sink, but then the train veered to the right and I was safe against the fence. I watched all of these families get off the train, they all knew me but I could not place them, they kept handing me plastic sacks of bread and I would take out a roll and toss it to the ground before handing it back, some sort of ticket exchange I suppose. And then I could not find my daughter.

And so I woke up and my hands were completely asleep.