Even in Kyoto…

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“Even in Kyoto

Hearing the cuckoo’s cry

I long for Kyoto”

Matsuo Basho

Sometimes, when I’m running along the lake at sunset, I long for the town in which I live. I view it through the eyes of someone who has left, and will never return, and feel a deep yearning. This tells me that, despite the challenges that living in rural Japan can bring, I am in the right place. I also see it through the eyes of the past. I’ve been here for 21 years. Most of them have been good years. But I’ve seen friends come and go, and now, there is only me left. Perhaps I’m also yearning for those carefree times with good friends, drinking, singing karaoke, staying out till sunrise… Even when I’m here, I long to be here. Of course, sometimes I think seriously of leaving, but when I’m running, and the sun is setting in the deep red sky, that thought is unbearable. I long to be here. And here I stay.

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