Choosing the right tools for any job makes life easier, but then human decisions aren't always driven by logic.
Whether that's in relation to fundraising or mowing my lawn.
I'm fortunate to have 20 square metres of this green stuff. It's mainly thick-bladed Kōraishiba (Okinawan grass) battling for dominance over strangling knotweed, dozens of tiny baby flame trees, and some sort of slimy seaweed appears after the summer typhoons.
The humidity and heat mean everything here grows fast. Like
My main tool against is a rusty hand-powered mower, which no longer self-sharpens but instead self-blocks itself with wads of grass and weeds. A square metre of grass cutting
My helpful neighbour loaned me his weedeater, which is a lot like a strimmer (in the UK) except the Okinawan version comes with a toothed metal disc that spins violently at one end and cuts through everything.
Because I live in Japan I feel duty-bound to read as much Ogawa, Murakami, and Ishiguro to help me understand this magical, infuriating, weird, and wonderful country.
So, after three false starts I finished Norwegian Wood (all it took was two flights and two young children plugged into two iPad films).
Norwegian Wood (named after the Beatle’s song) is a beautifully told, simple tale of love, loss and life set in Tokyo during the late sixties. It has a little bit of everything, even fundraising.
Murakami’s mastery of words extends to perfectly capturing the simplicity of the most common donor motivation.
Before I go on, a spoiler alert for the next paragraph. And, an apology to the Murakami purists out there — my reading of Japanese is enough to navigate local supermarkets, road signs and a small percentage of my mail here in Okinawa, but nowhere near enough to handle the original text (nor was I determined enough to locate the original translation by Alfred...