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.
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.
Yes, we’re off to Lapland (but don’t worry potential burglars, our flat is well protected). Wish I was in better mood – or is it the stress? Travelling fever? Feeling unfit and inappropriate? Misplaced? Idle? All of those? Hard to tell – and the fact that my cognitive functions have been impaired by migraine meds does not help.
And because we are off to the north I will obviously delight you with pictures of the south, namely of Turku. When I was there last week the weather and the atmosphere was springy, crispy, energetic. Now the weather is nowhere around as joyful, but soon I will be back where my heart loves it so much: beyond the polar circle. Yay!