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.
This has been among the sombrest Christmases I have ever experienced. It was not just Covid and the feeling of reality it brings about, although that definitely was a big part of it. It was not just missing my family, my safe space, although that, too, did contribute a lot. And, in fact, I’m very grateful for many things every day: I’m alive, I feel and understand things, I have a little family, I have a roof above my head and food on my table, I have a job and a lot of freedom – but at risk of sounding ungrateful, these facts just do not click together right now.
This Christmas felt like eating Finnish Christmas Food (to which I have little emotional attachment) on any autumn day (yes, autumn, as there is no snow and temperatures are only around 0°C) Sunday at in-laws. No Christmas emotions, anticipation, smells, sounds and emotions once again. I did not know this would set me back so much, but looking back at events of 2020, it is not that unsurprising that Christmas did not turn out as Christmas.
This year I did not really feel the connection to the world around me, instead, I automatically shifted focus on me and at my shortcomings in life (all of my life?) which then blocked off my productivity and creativity. The reason why I’m posting this little is that I have nothing visual to go with my verbalised thoughts, well I would not read a blog without graphic elements, it slows down scrolling so much! Anothe reason for so few pictures is that southern Finland has been now sunk in grayness and dullness (and NO, polar night does not mean grayness and darkness!) and, well, the way life is at the moment there were simply not too many opportunities to take pictures with a film camera.
Why am I writing this?
It is a reminder to myself and those who might ever read this that sometimes life sucks, it can suck and hurt in so many ways, it can feel like a short episode of super intense paralysing pain. It can feel like you are running on about 60% of your capacity, you feel less, you do less, you even think less. It can feel like a rock on your chest that never really goes. It can feel like everything is a struggle and you have to fight for all of this. It can feel like you have lost all your limbs, or that your heart has been pulled out of the chest (or stomach for what it feels). It can feel like a mild headache, kind of in the background all the time and you only realise it when you want to change your position and then *ouch*.
And that is fine. At least I hope it is fine, because I frankly see no other consolation in this. I have now seen how so many different things can go tits up in so many ways and within such a short time.
At the same time this year has seen unusually many of friends dear to me becoming parents (some even of the second child), some friends published books, some re-thought their business and adapted to the situation and I doing so great, some people developed so much – some people actually had a good year. And for the first time ever I’m not jealous of other’s achievements. I learnt to embrace it and feel happy for them, I learn to fail and embrace it, and for these, dear 2020, for these I’m thankful to you. And bless you, my dears.
Over and out, friends, this is this year’s Christmas card – note that of course I did not have the right paint/roller, because the only shop in Finland stocking these has been in total chaos the past weeks/months. So now I ended up with a stash of stencils I need to print, stash of films I wanted to shoot and a big jug of humbleness. And also a bowl of pizza dough I need to put into oven so I’m going to end this right now.
Has anyone else also noticed these cute Chanukka backgrounds for short FB posts last week? Well I did, and not because I would be looking for one but because I noticed people using them unintentionally. I’m satisfied that there was not intention, I mean why would you knowingly chose Chanukka background while giving away random stuff you do not need anymore.
How did I feel about it? It made me smile. I could have been offended and started shaming those unknowingly appropriating heritage of other cultures. I do not usually feel hurt or offended even when not treated as I would like to (or would deserve) – instead I explore and embrace the other person’s obtuseness, grin and write about it on my blog.
And while we embrace both of my religions, every year I value and enjoy the message behind celebrating Chanukka more and more. This year I felt fulfilled by the 8th night – and I do not mean only fulfilled with fried stuff.
Wishing you all hope and peace with the winter solstice!
I post quite regularly – towards the end of the month. I suspect it has something with the moon phase (or some other phase)? Well indeed I tend to have more creative energy . Or maybe it is the press and the details of the end of the month (and hence that I’m most productive under pressure). Who knows.
Greetings from the darkness, anyways! But despite it being November, aka the dullest month of the year, there is a lot of colours and life out there. Juxtaposed against grayness of rotting leaves, bare ground and misty dim, the colour is out there and it indeed is pretty.
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.