It’s a quiet morning. The sky is grey. And slowly, I am working on improving my Japanese.
When it comes to language learning, I find it challenging. Language is such an inherent part of identity–who do we become once we learn a new way of expressing ourselves in the world?
I’ll be frank: language learning can be grueling, anxiety-inducing, and sometimes downright embarrassing. I am far from fluent in the languages I can speak. Still, I find my process of learning so very rewarding.
My process: using creative writing and literary translation as my primary tools for language learning.
Currently, I am focusing on Japanese and am writing poetry in Japanese. Eventually, I would like to begin writing short stories. When writing, I write in Japanese (or any other language) first and then translate to English. For me, this method feels most natural. Today, I am sharing a poem.
The Quietness of the End of Summer
A cool breeze blows,
animals howl in the distance,
and the beautiful colors of wild flowers
have captured my gaze.
I am here.
The night sky’s quietness, the glittering stars,
gradually my breathing slows.
Still, I am trying to hear the last song of the cicadas.