I’m afraid there will be no city- or landscapes posted here for another month or so. Two weeks into the new year and I broke my foot. I knew I needed to become more humble and slow down and focus on the important but was this the way to go? Well, I may postpone skiing and skating to next winter, and walking without crutches for another 18 days.
As I said before, I think I may even learn something from it, no matter how incapacitated and clumsy I feel now. I just received a pair of proper shell pants that I had been longing for for years. The skates I ordered are at the post office, waiting for a pick up. And when I tell you that it was not the weather or Finnish winter (trying to kill you every year) but a plummet from a chair, you may understand the vast irony of this.
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.
I wrote on one of my other blogs that I kindled yet another passion: Finnish urban shopping malls from the 1960-80s. Why?
Firstly, because the architecture: the original designs were practical, airy, light and the floor plan actually worked. And it would work even today, but these old ostarit are deteriorating, all decent (read: consumerist) establishments had left a long time ago.
Secondly, because they are now being overshadowed by those shopping malls hells where we (all of us) actually sometimes shop at and these little reminders of the past stay still and patiently wait for their destiny. Many have already been demolished and given way for high-rises and soulless cookie-cutter minimalls.
Thirdly, they attract a lot of marginalised groups of population (some common factors would be poverty, substance abuse or ethnic heritage) and marginal(ised) establishments (think third sector, second hands, speciality non-hipster stores).
After I have taken pictures of some, I will then start going behind the doors. Who knows, maybe even behind the closed ones.
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.
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 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.)