Luke Winikates

14 October 2012

Cracking the Books

For a long time after switching tracks from ‘doing something related to Japan’ to developing software full-time, it made less sense to me to put conscious effort into doing anything Japanese. If I took the time to read an article in the Nikkei Shimbun, or flip through one of the Japanese books I have lying around, there was something melancholy about it. It seemed counter-productive, like an investment in a future that I wasn’t actually expecting to see. It is hard to keep two demanding commitments in your mind at once.

After coming back from Spain, and having to knead old parts of my brain to reclaim Spanish vocabulary dating back to growing up in Texas, I feel more entitled to exercise my Japanese. Long-distance travel is back into my brain’s repository of ‘things I can do if I want’, and the kind of effortful thinking I had to do so much of in Spain seems like it would be all the more rewarding in the language that has more personal resonance.