Frozen. Personal word about the thawing process
Tōkyō, Monday June 8, 2020, 4:24 a.m. Sunrise and birdsong. A smooth breeze. Light, softly entering the room. Awakening in my cherished Paradise.
Early morning hours during summer season have inspired me since the first time I visited Japan. The forthright sunshine, the glow in the air. The relatively decent temperatures prior to an intensely hot and humid day. The peaceful atmosphere when Tōkyō Metropolis slowly gets up. Like a child that impatiently awaits Christmas, I removed my curtains a while ago, enthusiastic to daily experience the sunrise. The plan was to smoothly be woken up by the natural light, whilst slumberously continue to vague in my dreams. However, my thoughts and preoccupations soon inhibited this idyllic picture.
Unpredictability does in general not make me feel particularly uncomfortable (in some curious way, Japan’s frequent earthquakes are for me an honest reminder that many phenomena are out of human control) and putting to sea without knowing the destination makes me rather inspired than worried. Nevertheless, just as assumingly for every individual, there is ebb and flow. There can be storms and waves, doubts and hesitations, and I can not deny that the postponement of the Tōkyō 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games eventually made the boat sway. Since the announcement in the end of last March, I occasionally feel like one of the Tōkyō 2020 flags or posters that hang around the city. Then again, like one of the lonesome festival tents at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. Remaining here, calmly awaiting. For all the involved, the common mission and aimed peak in summer has been removed from this year’s agenda, and one’s tolerance of ambiguity seems to constantly be put to the proof. Contradictory to the rapidly increasing temperatures, it felt as if in spring everything was suddenly frozen.
When these days I observe myself continuing my work or sharing my writings, I unwittingly recall the situation of the (in one of my recent reports described) customer who purchased articles at the Tōkyō 2020 fan shop inside BicCamera Akasaka-Mitsuke. Opposing our two pictures makes me smile about myself and think has she not realised yet that the Olympics are postponed, is she stubbornly holding on a research plan that assuredly has to be modified, or is she expecting a wonder to happen ?
At the time that the postponement of Tōkyō 2020 was announced, the question whether or not, and in which form I may continue my reports did naturally occur. Rather than about the topics, I was though mainly concerned if the audience may lose interest in their reading, e’en find them intrusive or incongruous. I was conscious that general interest in the Games as well as in my work may decrease in the aftermath of the decision, and the fact that indeed only few days after the announcement of the postponement an editor working for a foreign journal asked to be withdrawn from my mailing list was not very reassuring. Notwithstanding, Tōkyō and its facilities remain ready and organisers continue their work. From the beginning, my main motivation and intention for these reports was to share my modest knowledge, my experience and perception of Tōkyō and Japan with those who may appreciate and, most importantly, enjoy them. Therefore, I decided to continue this activity, albeit I have to accept that it goes along with inner questions and possible adaptions. The past months involved long reflection and talks with various people in Japan, as well as around the world, all of which turned out to be very constructive.
Last Monday at the awake of the day, I was once again caught up with thoughts and concerns. When I realised that I would not get any further sleep, I pulled myself together and left to the Japan National Stadium, where slightly delusional, I ended up running five rounds. Then, by curiosity, I walked one, measured and calculated the covered distance.
With an average time of seven to eight minutes per round, (probably to the disappointment of some appreciated researcher colleagues), one thing seems certain: even if I continue my runs around the stadium, I will definitely not be accepted in any athletics team for Tōkyō 2020.