Dec 19, 2020
[Column] A Year became More Aware of Connections with People

Monthly column in Asahi Newspaper Hokkaido version

Dec. 19, 2020.     Noyuri Mima


 It’s time to look back on the year that has gone by. There are many things I could not do this year. I was not able to meet with people I would have met in previous year. It is especially regrettable I could not see my elderly friends and relatives.

 I also gave up the research meetings with overseas people and participation in domestic and international conferences that I had been preparing for a year ago. The numbers of dining together and meals out have also decreased dramatically.

 On the other hand, I have been able to do some new things I had not planned to do. With all of my classes now online, the need made me able to use new tools. I was able to revise my classes and implement them in new ways.

 The sudden change in environment of not being able to see people put a lot of pressure on our lives, our work, and our minds to adapt to the new environment. Remote work and online parties have also started.

 Last week, a friend of mine uploaded a video on the net called “A Song for Heaven,” a remote ladies’ chorus project. it is a video of a chorus of 35 people, and it started with the idea of “sending a song to our loved ones in heaven.”  Along with the beautiful voices of the singers, photos of each person’s loved ones were introduced. It reminded me of my father and mother passed away.

 Another friend of mine who used to be a colleague reported on the net about his father who was in Sapporo. The father was diagnosed with cancer and was able to spend his last days at home after receiving home doctor visits, nursing care, and palliative care at home.

 During the time when he could not get out of bed, his son borrowed a ceiling projector from a friend in Yamanashi and gave him an experience the planetarium with simultaneous commentary by having her remotely control the projector.

 His father, I used to meet every summer in Hakodate, had great intellectual curiosity, especially about science and technology. I’m sure he was in a lot of pain, but it was such a wonderful gift the full of stars on the ceiling with an expert’s explanation. Since the beginning of this year, in a situation has been limited to meet with people, and the meaning of its connection has become more aware. I began to think about what is important to me and my life, what I can do for others, and how I spend the rest of my time, partly because I turned 60 this year.

 I would like to share with you what my friend said when the dinner meeting was postponed. “The next time we see each other, it will be more joyful! ” May the coming year be a healthy one.