Wednesday, 22 June 2011

into the blue

Farewell, dear friends! I'm leaving tomorrow to go sailing for a week and a half. Wish me luck and great winds, okay?

(And oh goodness have I missed sailing. Physically longed for it. This time around it's a smaller ship and a smaller sea, but a ship's a ship and a sea's a sea so who am I to complain?)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

windy days


"Now is the season to know that everything you do is sacred."


Photos by the talented Ezgi Polat.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

hands learn more than minds do

Sarah Kay performing her poem Hands. "Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past."

Thursday, 16 June 2011

how i want to live

A country house in Italy. With stray cats and big windows with shutters and balconies and tiled floors.

(Oh, I've never told you about all those trips to Italy as a little girl. Especially Venice, far too many times. I don't think I'll ever be able to shake off the gold dust.)

Today I'm selling my ukulele in order to buy a new and better one. Last night was a whirl of dreams in which I pressed the familiar (cheap, always out-of-tune) strings and I woke up at four in the morning only to give my trusty old uke one last play, then collapsed back into bed and slept without dreaming. Sentimentality, the things it makes me do.

Monday, 13 June 2011

libraries and thunder

After weeks of constant sunshine, the rain is here. I woke up to the force of it last night, getting up to close my windows and fetch my blanket.

It's easier to breathe now, to ease into the grey-stained air and feel the way I do.

Right, I'm off to the library, to read and write and press my fingertips against the cold windowpanes. What's a better place to spend a thunderstorm than between shelves?

Painting by Christine Lafuente.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

small cities

Yesterday was parks and a sunset by the sea. We sat on a pier, dipping our mojitos into the spring-cold sea to cool them. (Are you sensing a drink trend for this summer? Because I know I am.) 

We ate insane amounts of ice cream, joined a group of music students who cruelly hijacked our ukuleles, set off to find a bar but couldn't find anything to fit a student budget. So we sat at a tram stop watching the last trams of the night rush by on their way to bed, empty of passengers, lights turned off.

Then walked all the way from Kallio to the railway station, which admittedly is not much of a distance, except when you're tired and hungry and the city is almost asleep. Helsinki is so blissfully small sometimes, when there are distances to be covered by foot and familiar streets to get lost in.

I arrived home at sunrise, the lilacs next to our gate have never been quite as beautiful. A good night, one of the best in a very long time. I can't begin to understand this warmth, bare legs all through the night, donning a light cardigan sometime around two in the morning.

(Can you imagine how hot my room gets, with our black tiled roof and sunlight pouring in all day, every day? I sleep with my windows open and sometimes I wake up in between dreams to listen to the birds and trains.)

Friday, 10 June 2011

forms of comfort

Lately it seems I can barely assemble my scattered thoughts to form a few meandering sentences, let alone an entire blog post. And still my fingers twitch with the need to get something written down, as if I were afraid of losing this, my present and my immediate past, and I need to grapple them to the ground.

I've been having a recurring dream of someone fixing me breakfast. Peonies and sunlight on the table, tea and fruit and toast. (Just tea would be enough to be honest, it's the most comforting beverage, even in this heat.)

Really it's just this ridiculous, persistent fear of not coping by myself, although every day I prove to myself that I do get by, I do stay together, I do manage. There's nothing to be afraid of.

And yet my shaky hands are back and I find myself wanting to be taken care of, no matter how much I usually resent it. I want to not have to think about anything, I want to rid myself of duties and worry and fear. Thank goodness it's summer, but there still seem to be too many things to get done.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


This week I'm staying with my father's family.

Walking along the river bank all the way to the castle near the sea, dancing around the kitchen while cooking, running around this vast green garden with my siblings, reading reading reading on the grass beneath the apple tree.

Watching a bulb of tea drenched in steaming water open up into an artificial flower, seeing the skin between my fingers grow paler in comparison with my steadily darkening tan.

This is everything I've been needing, that longed-for perspective. Watching my life from a distance, a physical distance. Home is but a place on a map.

Yesterday I took the bus into town by myself. I know few people in this city and so I could walk around without having to watch out for familiar faces. I ate at a restaurant by myself, reading Ondaatje, then sat on the river bank for an hour or so as the sun made its slow descent. It's been a long time since I've last been this peaceful.

I return home tomorrow and I'm hoping to bring some of this with me, some quiet and calm. Because there are things to be done and no matter how easy, there are only so many times I can think I can't do this before I begin to believe it.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

the first days

 Pictures from a few weeks back. (Those are post-operation prescription meds I'm showing off, don't worry. And oh goodness I look ridiculous.)

So yesterday was graduates and flowers and friends (the kind who make it easier to breathe, just by existing), hugs and tears, cigarettes and mojitos (yes, mojitos; I regret nothing), train rides at night and sitting on a rooftop.

I am now officially on summer holiday and I don't know quite what to do with myself, with this hoarse voice and these aching legs (blame it on the dancing). In two hours I will board a train that will whisk me out of town. Finally I get to read the books I want to read and sleep as much as I want to and work on my summer project, the acquisition of more freckles. Really, I am quite happy.

Friday, 3 June 2011

this is a post in which i list things to do next summer

My summer holiday begins tomorrow. And it's taken me completely by surprise. (Too many things to do, a suitcase to pack for when I go to my Dad's for the first week of summer, a skirt to sew for the Saturday graduation celebrations, a brain to wrap around this forgotten concept of freedom.)

So it's high time for a list of things to do next summer. (I plan on making myself a survival kit for summer, containing the essentials for nights out / days at the beach / whatever summer shenanigans I get up to. Always on the ready.)

(Oh, and I think I forgot a few: send as many postcards as possible, throw a garden party, drink Tequila, maybe fall for someone [but not too hard], dance whenever there's a chance for it and spend as much time near the sea as possible.)