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“Hari to Ito” (Needles and Threads) by Ito Ogawa

This is a travel essay by Ito Ogawa. She reminisces about her stay in Berlin for some years as a language student and a writer as well as her complex relationships with her late mother.

In 2008, her work took her to Berlin for the first time, which would change her life. She was strongly impressed by the people living there, who seemed to be enjoying their lives with freedom and joy. Above all, a woman on a bicycle coming down a long slope dashingly left a strong impression on her and made her think intuitively that Berlin has “something”. Some years later, she was living in Berlin by herself.

I can relate to her in that one tiny incident can change one’s life drastically. More often than not, intuitions are right, and we should listen to what our guts say. She decides to go to Germany with a student visa in her 40s. Her essay is liberating because it reminds us of one very important thing in life: if you want to do something, just do it. Follow your instincts. Carpe Diem.

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