The other day – before the major mess-up – I was hanging out laundry on the balcony. For a change it was sunny outside (albeit windy). And suddenly I noticed this soothing, almost ASMR-like, sound. For a moment I could not place it and then it struck me: it was the sound of rustling leaves. Something I had not really heard in half a year and something I already got used to since this happened. So now when little L. asks me whether the summer has already come, I can with a clear conscience say Yes, m’darling, this is summer.
PS. Apparently there is an umbrella term for sounds of the wind in the trees: psithurism. You are welcome.
Tomorrow the summer starts officially as we just reached the end of the school year. And it is bittersweet for me – I absolutely love the light and lush verdure and the memory of the freedom to uninterruptedly do things that one really likes to do for two months. And, indeed, it is only a memory of the times, smells, tastes and feelings that I will never experience again.
Turtledoves cooing, birds singing, circular saw buzzing. Hot donuts for breakfasts and eating lunch cold. That big pot of cherry compote. Turning book pages with fingers sticky from berries. Walking, thinking, feeling. Warm evening talks with whoever. Rough bark, sticky city centre and the smell of chlorine from the swimming behind my nails. The chill on the skin when entering grandmas house on a hot summer day. I miss those days, I miss experimenting with freedom, feeling nature against my body and I miss being a teen grand-daughter.
I tried to recreate at least some of these sensations with the help of a three year old. Almost, but not quite yet.
Although there was this common recommendation not to travel to Lapland we… we decided to do it anyways. At the end of the day, we felt much safer in a cabin in the fells than in a flat in the capital region. Opportunities for meeting others were very limited and even more limited for those who injured their knees on the first day and were then unable to part-take in any decent winter activities.
Except from walking short distances and visiting a reindeer farm.
And yes, the (real) North remains what it has been for me since the first day I set my tired foot there (Kiruna, a.d. 2012). I have never been calmer and happier anywhere else. Maybe one day you will find me herding reindeer and spending evenings drinking black coffee and chewing on reindeer jerkies.
I admit this is – photography-wise – nothing overly original, after all these are basically cracks in the ice and some random snowy/shadowy arrangement, but I just wanted to take pictures of something that is not a toddler so bad…
Other than that, ice cracks mean that the spring is on its way. Finnish spring though, so dripping water, melting snow and more sunshine.
Apparently I posted nothing the whole seemingly-dead month. Sorry, my dear readers. It was a great winter month this year, cold and snowy, at times sunny and socially awkward. Here, enjoy some seemingly dead flowers and a not-so-seemingly-dad toddlers that I came across.
Is nearly over and it has been the best year of 2021 so far! I have been reasonably busy, partly buried in snow and enjoying those moments between Instagramable walks, fun outings and inspirational meetings. In fact, I met someone last week, and I think that this experience may change my life. The little one keeps amazing me – recently through being so independent and spending her first night without parents.
And then some really bizarre things happened to flowers and plants forgotten outside at the mercy of Finnish winter.
We have snow. In fact we have had snow for about a week now and it has been a gamechanger for the winter. Not only does this feel like a real winter now, but
everything becomes cleaner
everything sounds cleaner
everything feels cleaner
everything feels hopeful
there is suddenly more light everywhere
kids (and adults alike) get easily entertained outside
everything has a beautiful outline.
Yes, a beautiful, contrasting outline, giving all objects outside an extra dimension. Suddenly dark objects are visible in dark as well, and a fresh layer of snow changes the view outside into a 2D black-and-white block-print during those dimmed gray days (ahh). Of course I have no pictures of snow-covered anything just yet, instead, I’m waiting for that crisp new snow layer in order to get concrete images for the actual block-print.
So yeah, I just wanted to post about how pretty the outlines created by fresh snow are and I did not even post any actual photos of snow or related art material.
I will spare you from rambling: this year was exceptionally… warm. Grey. Lonely. Sinister. Stressing. Overwhelming. Uncreative. Asocial. Unreal. Hard. Teary. Depressing (as in putting me into d*pression).
But also it taught me that, in fact, I have all I need. I’m grateful for all I have (and I have a lot), compassionate and for all I learned this year. I just need to get used to using the new skills and knowledge 😉 Soon this will be over and we will restart – yes, restart. For one, my way of looking at thing has changed and for second – the world will not be the same again. It will be better.
One of the reasons for the world becoming better is that 2020 saw so many new babies born to some of the most amazing people I know – so of course the world has instantly become better!
Stay well. You are dear.
Here, some of the prints I just made for this post. No kidding, I did. The first one is a little play – once I saw a pile of concrete chunks from the window, their flat shiny white edges were so oddly shining in the dark. I quickly drew the shapes (uneven quadrangles) and kind of expanded that aesthetics. How it is used: just flip the image upside down in your mind so that nothing is crumbling away, instead, everything is falling into its place.
The other image represents either the holy trinity – or my little family – on the way towards the light… or just some aesthetically pleasing curves.
(Please note that the prints are 1. wet 2. under construction 3. printed on the cheapest paper around and using some really basic water-based paint 4. most importantly, not done yet, missing the other colour etc. Now when I have proper tools I could also invest into proper paint – hey, look, the first resolution for 2021…)
I’m not, but many of my peers are. I’m definitely not the first one who noticed that millenials get easily (and happily?) offended at the slightest chance. Actually so much that I, a person quite resistant to trends and popular culture, noticed it and decided that I hate it and I hate my generation for it.
And then I found this article by Tatiana Baez, and was quite happy to read on the restlessness and irritability of millenials through the lens of self-criticism of the generation concerned. Yes, we Millenials are stupid and yes, we suffer from the process of disintegration of values as started by previous generations’ (oh 90’s, you shameless feast of popular postmodernity).
She identified four reasons why we get offended so much (we are bored, we are lazy, we are assholes and we are stupid – I’m too lazy to check the right order), and I agree with them and decided to add more.
5) We are hungry for attention.
6) We feel entitled to everything. To the life that is presented in the media, to trends, to goods, to looks, to attention – not just the equal opportunity of these, but for the real thing. When we feel we do not get it we like to be heard and kind of compensate – to an extent that we are happy to shame someone instead of getting our point straight without the unnecessarily weepy attitude.
7) We tend to act in the name of others. And, errr, we may not know it, or maybe we do but we do not care nevertheless, but… we may not actually be helping. Instead, those who have been actually affected by the difference, may find our actions harmful. Of course, there are groups of people who suffer daily because what makes them detach from the norm causes real, measurable harm. Those people do welcome lenience from the majority society and a space for discussion. Then we have people who are aware of their difference or their minority status or whatever makes them stand out, they would like us , but not to an extent that they would like the entire society to adopt measures for them. Or – they just don’t want their feature to be talked about in this millenial bitchy way. And then there are people who may actually like to blend in what is left of the majority society without needing for extra measures that would concern the entire public life.
So yes, please keep in different viewpoints and proofs of variation among the masses coming. I love it and I embrace it. But in the new year and years to come, let’s not be assholes. Keep and embrace the space for interpretation and for public debate.
Disclaimer: I’m not a three-fingered person so I won’t comment on that millenially flame around the film adaption of Roald Dahl’s Witches because I simply cannot relate completely to these publicly noticed cries, but I have been offended before (you, random person: no, I’m not offended for being called an immigrant or “them” or an Eastern European. I’m offended for your stupidity of thinking that all of us think/act/dress/something the same.).
P.S. Still no linocuts, instead I made a road-trip around the south of Finland today. Manflu, errands and all the things I did not have time for.
These have always been among the most favourite days of the years. These sweet, lingering moments after Christmas, all the luxuries of the Christmas without the feast’s formality, without anticipation or pressure. This freedom to enjoy and not needing to do anything (having said that, somehow I always end up working or writing during these days). Cold days, good food, snow (in lucky years; but either way, winter break has always been associated with skiing), lights and decorations, friends and peace. Reading, drinking tea, taking trips to the nearby cities. This unnaturally calm climax of the entire ye and the chance to start anew.
Other amazing days used to be those just before the start of the summer break. We were at school but we were not actually doing much, we were slowly transitioning to whatever we wanted to make out of the summer break. Or the start of the academic year (let alone a start of the whole degree) – the anticipation, lenient teachers, the feeling of starting afresh. T
Or my birthday. I’m sorry for anyone whose birthday is not in June (fine, May as well), but it is the time of the year. Still within the academic year so you are not completely unnoticed, but late enough towards the end of it when everything seems easier. And then there is the mild summer sun and first strawberry yields.
But because this year sucks, so do these days this year. They are grey, lonely, and uneventful and I’m supposedly writing a paper. Tomorrow, before writing, I will try to do some linocutting to feel at least a bit productive.