I did my best to console my father and then went back to where my desk was. Sitting among my scattered books, I replayed in my mind his forlorn look and rueful words. I heard again the chirping of the cicadas, but the sound was different than before. It was now the "tsuku-tsuku" sound of a different variety. Whenever I'd returned home in summertime and sat quietly among the seething sound of cicadas, I'd been often struck by a strange melancholy. It was a sorrow that, wrapped in the fervent cries of these insects, permeated my soul to its core. In such times I'd remain still and think back on my life.
This summer, the sorrows I'd felt since returning had gradually shifted in tone. Like the voices of different cicadas, one giving way to the next, I pictured the fates of those who were close to me, steadily treading a grand cycle of death and rebirth. While reflecting on the lonely words and lonely look of my father, I also thought of Sensei, who had left my letters unanswered. The impressions in my mind of Sensei and my father were extreme opposites, but whether for purpose of comparison or through stream of consciousness, I would often think of them together.
I was intimately familiar with my father. If I saw him no more, then my regret would be merely that of a child missing a parent. Sensei was largely unknown to me still. He'd promised to share his past but had not yet done so. In short, he was a figure in the dark. I couldn't be content, I felt, until I'd pulled him into the light. The thought of losing him distressed me greatly. I consulted with my mother, and we chose a day for my departure for Tōkyō.