It is strange how we hold these people in our heads, long after they are gone from our lives. Their opinions, criticisms remain unsullied by other more agreeable perspectives. Perhaps because they voiced our fears, gave a tangibility to the shadows of the heart, we preserve them like jars of jam and pickles and put them up on the mantle when they should be down in the cellar.

I have been back at work for a few days now. They have been quiet days, days dedicated to preparing for the approaching busyness. For the next few months, it is just going to be a series of events and testing and then suddenly, graduation before we start again with another entrance ceremony. It is best to get as much done in these days without obligations because free time will be elusive after September gets a move on.

I have not studied Japanese at all since the return, despite my resolve to spend every spare minute dedicated to it. I think it is because I hate studying a language removed from its usage. Everything that I know in Japanese has come from observing it in the field, not on the page. So I am looking forward to starting lessons, to reading more. I just cannot sit down with a grammar book and absorb the rules. It is the same with mathematics. If you give me an algorithm isolated from its application, then I become dyslexic but show me how it is used in the world, and I will be captivated.

It is my intent to spend September registering for classes. Yoga on Wednesdays at the community center, Japanese twice a week, and cooking once a month. I’m also buying a pool card and going to take my neighbor up on the offer to go walking in the evenings. I am staying put and I want to actually be here, living in my neighborhood, connecting with the people all around me. Too long I have been removed because of my transient nature. It is time to be here, to really understand what here means.