And those shades of yellow and orange are here to distract us from the rest of the world going gray, dark and scratchy in the throat (that is the real reason, not just the green chlorophyll in leaves diminishing and the yellow pigment becoming dominant). I thought I would overplay this – and play around with this Yodica Vega special effects film a bit. After all, soon we will be looking hard to find any colours again out there, so why not overpower.
I quite like how they look turned out though, especially the portraits. Yes, you guessed it, the main motive of all my shootings remains quite clear. The child. But hey, the hue changes as the aperture/amount of light does, so the result is pretty exciting each time.
So here we have the child, some brutalist architecture, rime, grass, water and random twigs. Experimenting around home at its best.
What captures autumn atmosphere better than a bunch of black-and-white photographs?
Not much, maybe those little occurrences such as a few acorns in the bed and dried leaves stuck on my cardigan.
Every year, at the beginning of autumn I get a bit emotional. You know by now. I rant about it every year, not only in this blog. It is the time of the year when so much (re)starts school, free-time activities, new jobs, new acquaintances. I find that the Hebrew calendar suits me much better in this (and many other) respects, with its cheerful yet relaxed pace into the new year. For me, the 5781 has started (a belated happy new year to everyone!) pretty well, I feel fulfilled after a quick trip to the homeland, despite all covid-caused restrictions and the fact that… that I’m now stuck at home for a couple weeks in an (in)voluntary quarantine. With a toddler (and) soon with the +1 going -1 for a week – that’s quite a perspective.
New connections and activities for near future have been discussed and planned, but it is nothing that I hope will improve the quality of my life as it is. Life is not a waiting game. Well what else to do than to take a day at a time…
(Confession: I actually really like this volatility and changeability – herewith I apologise to my current and future employers. I like planning, I just somehow live alongside my plans, I’m not living them.)
Yesterday my darling Lea was bitten by a tick for the first time. Yay! My nightmare also came true – not because of the tick bite (although I’m not too happy) but because while removing the tick and disinfecting the bite the tick just disappeared. In the kitchen, at the most frequented spot. Now la bestia is hiding away somewhere, getting ready to latch onto one of us.
So I decided to create a stylish card to remember this milestone. Note that it not only proves that I’m a modern, stylish and creative parent but that I also have a hilarious sense of humour. Also, this card actually has a little frame to note the actual date the event occurred, unlike virtually all the milestone cards people actually pay for.
I will just leave this here and for the 514th time today I will check the kitchen floor for the tick.
This was probably it, our only week of family holidays this summer. Fortunately, it happened to be by the sea – in fact, as Lea said, by two seas, separated by a sandspit. We made it all the way up to Kalajoki, one of like two spots in Finland with real sandy beaches.
We did enjoy ourselves, but the situation remains bleak – I mean, the life goes on, children are being born (literally all my friends are expecting this year, which is a great thing of course but also reminds me of how few friends I have…) and start schools, people commute to work and shop, commuter trains are filling up.
Now, I’ve been trapped in mu loneliness pit for some time – studying on my own, working from home, looking after a baby/toddler, moving houses (and countries) – and the uncertainty of the current situation somewhat worsens it. I’m all for travelling responsibly, but how does one travel without putting the family and the wider society in jeopardy economy and health-wise? It feels foolish wanting to travel, explore, relax and do nothing somewhere else and take a break while we should take life seriously. It feels selfish to dream of a job that is not essential to the society in any way. It feels unimportant wishing I had more friends in times where we should not really be making that much contact with others. It feels strange squandering money on a film scanner (yes I did) when people are losing jobs…
… are we allowed to let go? Are we allowed to have fun? Is it appropriate? Or shall we just put on a face mask and a serious face underneath and act responsibly at all times?
(Which reminds me – yesterday I was like the only person wearing a face mask on the bus. For those of you who do not know, masks are recommended in public transport in Finland, yet not compulsory. I walked down the aisle (of the bus, not a church) and those non-believers not wearing a mask just looked aside. Every single of them. I mean I was not even trying to make eye contact, just listening to my favourite podcast.)
Of course I have not been sitting still. Actually, we have done a lot of small trips around, visiting various bodies of water, animals, berries, mushrooms and other places that are not Home. And that was great of course, especially when we were joined by some company, so things are not awful, they just could be more comprehensible.
Here, enjoy a few pictures of mushrooms. Because Lea loves them. And because I wanted to boast – they were in my first negative batch I developed by myself.
I was born into a habitus of endless possibilities. I have been told ever since that I could do anything I could (although I was steered into a certain direction that maybe did not suit me the best after all). And the problem is that I could do anything I wanted, except for maybe singing, activities including a lot of falling on the ground and playing. I could do sports, create art, dance, become pretty good at biology or math, languages, some minor design projects, I could help you with choosing your new phone and even dug into things as uncreative as accounting. And, you know what, I did OK to say the least.
The problem is that I never could focus on one thing, nothing fulfilled me to the extent when I could just say This is my thing, I’m going to put all my efforts into this. And the fact is that I’m soon a year older and still do not know what my thing is. There is so much that is close to my heart, and I am and am not all of them at the same time.
Fortunately, I have some breaks in my life at the moment that bring me down to earth. The first one is the recurring depression (haha, I know, you are probably going like “Nooo, not that shit again” and you are right, I stop right here) that has made me take a break and restart my life-line at that time a few times, improve it, rethink it, adjust it. Another one is, of course, my little girl. She keeps reminding about what really matters in life. And then there is the nature and its cycles the four distinct seasons and the different energy they bring about with them. These are things that make me refocus, albeit in a rough and lengthy way.
I will never be a true expert on *something*, but I will be able to work in any settings and with a wide range of issues, I don’t find the joy in digging deep as much as I like to stick my nose into many pots at the same time. I can adjust a bit, but I cannot change my way of thinking.
And then, after the initial paralysing pain that comes with comparing myself to everyone and everything has faded away, I look around and see that everything is as it should be. Right now. I’m a year older now and even so more thankful for being alive right now.
The annual World Village Festival(Maailmaa kylässä) had been planned for the last week and due to youknowwhat has been cancelled. Well, in the light of the Black Lives Matter protests I here, under the veil of the internet, admit here that I have always been slightly sceptical towards the mission of the festival. What or whom does it want to present, and more importantly, why and how?
Originally the goal was to present civil society actors, but it has since grown into a festival for, well, anyone who is interested in anything society-related and freebies. There is a particular geo-cultural theme every year, it draws attention to global issues, but it does that using Finland-based participants, organisations, experts, minorities. It is multicultural, but it is also very Finnish in doing so. It draws attention to the difference, it exoticises (autocorrect suggested eroticies) immigrants’ cultures in Finland and overshadows their endeavour to be accepted into the society and treated as its part.
I’m afraid that (not) attending this festival has become one of those markers that divide the society into tolerant and multicultural and -conscious and the rest. And you do not want to be the rest. It is a low-threshold large event for anyone who is not racist and who is positive towards sustainable material and cultural practice (basically, pretty much anyone). Attendance at the festival is performing a cultural role, presenting your NGO labels you as open and receptive without actually needing to do anything in these matters. That’s why organisations that are not known for being culturally or otherwise aware attend and try toimprove the public image.
Don’t get me wrong, the festival is great fun to attend, but it is an experience that should be treated with a pinch of salt. The way I use it is that I collect the festival guide with the list of participants (and put it into use in fact!), get some good “ethnic” food, pick-up freebies and greet friends. The rest I’m a bit careful about. Having said that, I don’t have an answer ready on how to get the general public interested in global issues, but I don’t think that having local Somali association, crafted handbag vendor, Perussuomalaiset, soy milk producer, African dance workshop and serious expert talks under one (open) roof.
The festival has grown so much as it has outgrown us. And for me, Black Lives have always Mattered.
One of the reasons why I have not found pure satisfaction in my life is that… that I enjoy and am curious about too many things. I’m too versatile. I’m too flexible. I’m too adaptable. I don’t strive to develop any niche skill, I do not strive to become best at something. I’m good at many things, but not good enough to make a difference in anybody’s life.
Pure blasphemy, isn’t it – said many, including yourself probably – you are a person of so many talents, how dare you complain and how come you are not making a career. Well simply because I’m too unsettled to get settled and focused. I’m superficial in my curiosity, all I need is to find out how it works; typically I won’t need more detailed knowledge.
And it is indeed a problem, because the way the job market works is that once you are among the highly educated, you should have some niche knowledge, or at least extensive knowledge of anything. But there is no common denominator for things I like and do not suck at. I’m just embodiment of random, difficultly marketable passions, eventually equalling mediocrity.
Not having a niche passion, skill or interest makes my life quite had, it always had – it started in my childhood when my wide range of interests clashed with very limited organized hobby activities I participated at. No matter what we read in the media, no matter how nicely I wrap up my life on LinkedIn, to those who have not met me at least, I will always be the incomprehensible underachieving foreigner. And yes, this lack of understanding and the lack of interest to give me a change, that brings me down.
It is ironic, isn’t, in my public life I fight labelling, and now I’m wishing I had a comfortable label to hide behind.
These are among things I enjoy: Reading, writing, talking, drawing, learning languages, graphic design, communicating, marketing (but only things I burn for), architecture, typography, calligraphy, art in general, photography, graphology, various graphic techniques, anthropology, sociology, geography, cartography, physics (yes), ecology, flirting, social impact analysis, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, urban exploring, electronic music, outdoors, helping people in need, baking, minimalism, cooking (not including weekly dinners though), barefoot shoes, nursing, risk management, natural medicine, non-toxic lifestyle, mental health championing, zero waste movement, second-hand stores, yoga, meditation, travelling, hiking, medicine as a discipline, crafts and arts, jewellery making, urban planning, the sea, the forest, the mountains, Scandinavia, Caucasus, south of Germany, early education. And I enjoy every single of them.
Getting scans from a long-forgotten film made my day (thanks!). Well, that and that Lidl stocks my favourite (read: the only I ever liked) mineral water for at least a short bit. I was so astounded I actually gaped from underneath my face mask. From this you can see how desperately lonely I have been lately, and no, I do not only mean the covid-situation, although that certainly is not helping. Enough of sobbing.
Anyways, the pictures reminded me of the worry-free summer last year, of the warmth that we have been waiting for (and got snow instead) and, of course, of how tiny the tiny one was last summer. It felt and it still actually feels like reading a book for some time and then lingering in the plot and the settings for the rest of the day (or night). So here, my three (or so) faithful readers, enjoy some black-and-white Finland’s sun.
We are not spending too much time around others, we are not taking collective transport and we have become experts on getting on each other’s nerves – and my wanderlust is on level 534. Instead of dividing my active time between family and working on that PhD a few hours per day I would prefer doing, errr, pretty much anything right now – including actually staying at home and having time for things. Especially now when I have so many unfinished projects and project ideas going on that I’m ashamed of myself as a human being.
Too bad? No. It is how it is, we are all reasonably healthy, we are developing some extreme partnership skills and the weather has been pleasantly random. Oh and of course, Lela won’t stop amazing (and draining) me . Ever. So I don’t think I should mention this ever again, because content is gold.
So I’m just writing this to save myself a moment and let you all know that all, after all, is well.
I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!
I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.
And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.
I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.