Monday, 29 August 2011

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Here we come to the turning of the seasons, like they sing in that song by the Decemberists. And though the roses in our garden are still in full bloom, I wear jumpers and scarves every morning when I go to school. And I drink tea and read and appreciate the novelty of not waking up at four in the morning to the sunrise.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


Because that's where I'd rather be now, somewhere far away and summery and revision-free.

(Although last night was nice, taking the ferry to Suomenlinna, ogling tall ships on the way, and ending up at a folk gig at Korjaamo. Nights are still so warm sometimes, warm enough for t-shirts and running.)

I've lost the source of the first photo. If you know, please tell me!

Friday, 26 August 2011

that fallen heart feeling

"No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention."

Chuck Palahniuk

(This is something I've been thinking about lately, what with starting my final year in school and applying to universities abroad. The things I am thinking about leaving behind seem to grow in importance and at the same time I need to face my inadequacy at truly appreciating it all.

But maybe this is something we all need to accept? That we will never feel as though we have lived enough, no matter how many things we do and no matter how much we pay attention to them. And maybe feeling as though we should have done it all better doesn't mean we've actually done it wrong. Maybe this self-doubt and hopeless nostalgia are simply natural, inevitable downsides of being human.)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

letters and rain

I received a letter today, from an old friend. (You know the peculiar type of people you might not see in years and yet you still never forget them? That kind of a friend.)

And at the very end of her letter there were the words, You seem to have changed.

A remark, by the tone of it. Not a judgement or condemnation or appraisal. Merely an observation.

And, holding the letter in my hands, I glanced up and caught my eyes in the mirror. And I stood still for a while, just looking at myself and thinking, yes, I really think I have.

I can't bring myself to point out what it is that is different from before.

Maybe I've grown a bit, in confidence and happiness and in knowing what I want.

But, to be quite honest, I have no answers. (And maybe it's this acceptance of not-knowing that is the biggest change?)

Such is life, as I find myself saying more and more often. Small things and sighs to get me by. Vast amounts of rain yesterday evening, the city scrubbed clean, a letter pointing out something I maybe needed to hear.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


A Sunday made of revision, Hemingway and tea. And the Sunday papers. (I don't think I've ever discussed my intense love of newspapers? It's untamable to the point of absurd.)

not even the rain


(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

(The final stanza of somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond by e.e.cummings.)

(Painting by the wildly talented Casey O'Connell.)

(Apologies for the sappiness and romance. It's a sublime August and I'm not making much sense at all.)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

the great perhaps


It's been a while, hasn't it.

School, revision, trying to cram in some sleep - it's all been just a bit too much. Weekends have never been quite as welcome. 

It was sudden, this end of a summer, and also this beginning of an entirely different ending: my final year at school. Soon commence the university applications and other scarily grown-up things, but for now, with the mornings misty and the afternoons still clinging to summer, it's kind of ridiculously easy to be happy.

(And I say this cautiously though it must be said: I think I might actually be doing better than I have done in months and maybe years.

Like I'm finally finding my own feet, finally able to face the future without my knees buckling.

The end is nigh, but in these last months of school I'm going to get to the very marrow of life - before the Great Perhaps that comes after graduation.)

Monday, 15 August 2011

ends and beginnings

So summer finally comes to a close, sudden and clean like a paper cut. But I refuse to wax nostalgic, because today's Flow Festival was spectacular, a perfect ending for this summer. My feet ache from all the dancing and I'm exhausted and at a loss for words and just too darn happy to do any kind of thinking right now.

So here, watch some James Blake. This song is sublime, ethereal, the music of the stars. Even more so when heard live, mere metres from the stage, with the bass kicking its way through my ribcage right into my heart, throat and lungs. I could have listened to him for this entire infinite night.

(And oh, this summer has been glorious. Despite everything.)

(Also: I promise to type out a proper post at some point. At a less ungodly hour.)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals."

George Orwell

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

windows and rooftops

Some pictures to get me writing something lengthier than fragments or blog posts. (About summer and bicycles and endings, I think.)

Incidentally: I would like to sleep in a hammock. I would like to have the sea just outside my window.

(Also, there is this. A video from the London riots. Sky News reporter Mark Stone approaches looters in Clapham Junction to ask them if they're proud of themselves. This whole thing is so sad and fucked up I can't even.)

(i find this strangely comforting)

"Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside, remembering all the times you've felt that way."

Charles Bukowski 

Monday, 8 August 2011

on love #3

(Sometimes I need poetry. Need it with a heart-shaking fist-clenching urgency, buckets of words poured in through the eyes, they settle deep in the throat and wander to the safety of my ribcage and burn on a low flame, or run down my spine like drops of mercury.)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

day by day (old joy comes back to me)

So here we are, well into August, and the familiar melancholy-tinged end-of-summer nostalgia is hitting me like a freight train.

Endless rain and nights too cold for bare feet, a prep course in Swedish for my final exams, the approaching start of my final year in school - it's all slightly too much. (And I do know the days still swelter with heat and there are warm days to come, but nonetheless there's no escaping the blues.)

For the past few weeks I've been intensely unhappy and disconcerted, in the familiar shaky-hands way. Unable to sleep, listless and vague. Clinging to the idea of summer having flown by without much of an impact. (Forgive me my maudlin tendences, this'll get brighter I swear.)

And then last night, at the seaside with music and friends and a sunset, I got to thinking about everything I've done during the past two months, how undeniably and inexplicably happy I have been.

And so maybe there's nothing to be sad about. Maybe what I need right now is a good cry and a shoulder to lean on, and then I can face this mystifying concept of autumn with a heart less faint. I aim to be prepared, this time around. With wellies and jumpers and fingerless gloves. I'm already waiting for the cooler days in September, the darkening night and coloured leaves.

And in the meanwhile, I have ten more days of (almost) absolute freedom, to be spent with friends in that glorious sunshine.

Friday, 5 August 2011


One of the most stunningly beautiful videos I have ever seen. (And oh, the things I'd give to go travelling right now.)

Monday, 1 August 2011

small joys and freckles

An eternity ago in early May, as a consequence of sunny lunch hours spent on the school lawn, I discovered a smattering of freckles high up on my cheekbone, near the thin blue skin beneath my right eye.

It was just a light dusting of them, an area I could cover with a few clustered fingertips. But there they were, improbable and exciting and new.

Blandly blonde, with a complexion the colour of skimmed milk, I have always longed for skin like a star chart. Back in playschool I had a friend with skin as pale as mine, but an explosion of rust-coloured dots scampering around her face. She was spectacular, with her polka dot eyelids and misty hairline, and I was desperate enough to paint clumsy circles onto my cheeks with a brown felt tip.

So there they were, my first true freckles, proudly pointed out to all of my friends. My mother, who nonchalantly sports freckled arms and shoulders every summer, calmly remarked that my pigment must have altered with age.

Freckles suggest days spent in the sun, a certain carefree je ne sais quoi. An entirely different attitude, a better life. Freckled people are infinitely more beautiful than the rest of us, it seems, a group somehow more adept at life.

Or so I thought, naive as I was.

Although my collection of freckles remains small (in addition to cheekbones and nose, a few flocks have settled onto the backs of my hands, my forearms and my knees), I have lost my delusions. There's always a gut-wrenching nostalgic sadness in watching childhood dreams flicker and die, and even more so when they were dreams of eventual happiness.

Because last spring, although sublime in many ways, almost convinced me of freckles being the shadows of tears. And along with the steady accumulation of the little brown dots, although this summer has proven to be better than many of the ones before, has come the realisation that no amount of freckles will result in happiness. (A silly notion of course, but a solid one.)

And still there's the small pang of joy every time I notice them, a fleeting glance into a mirror every morning, a jolt of energy in my veins. Small joys build up to happiness, after all, so maybe the constellations of my skin will eventually show me the way.

Drawing by the always wonderful Daniela HenrĂ­quez.