Somewhere over western Russia

Stay safe
Last morning; waking up the weary dog for a walk. Sunshine, birds that have paid attention to the fact that for some reason there is again several minutes more daylight and thus tuning up their vocal cords.
Even though I might not miss the weather (and feel a coward when flying away to the rising sun and everlasting spring/summer), there are things I will miss. Already miss. Family, friends, the Dog. But this just can not be helped, a girl has to work to afford her hairdresser and for now I happen to have work in Japan, not Finland. Hopefully, some day, the Powers of Science in Finland will accept me back.
Surprisingly exhausting two weeks. I was constantly in a worse hurry than last time, and also wanted to spend more time with by brother and dog on the sofa instead of cruising around (the LOVELY weather might have had some role in this). Three days of christmas were spent most pleasantly doing almost nothing, but I would not have had an problems in doing the same for two weeks. In the end, I managed to meet with almost everyone I intended to, even though some of them for way shorter time than would have been sufficient. I took care of at least one task but left several undone; used more money than I ever intended but just decide not to worry about it.
Last meeting with a friend; my favourite security person took care of me straight after passing through the gates to the international side of the airport. Short meeting but nevertheless calming (at least for me, maybe not for the other passengers). Sense of security, peace, things are under control and OK.
Flying out to the sky, looking back at city lights shining through the clouds, I ask any gods that might be around to keep everyone safe.
Kallista ruisleipää
Jollakin tavalla olin kerännyt joulupyhyien aikana lähes kaksikymmentä kiloa ylipainoa matkatavaroihini. Niin paljon että ei meinannu mennä enää edes rahalla läpi. Erityisesti kun meinasin vahingossa kantaa sen ison Marttiini-puukon koneeseen. Ens kerralla lähetän kaiken rahtina.
Aina sama juttu kun lentää Japaniin päin Suomesta; kapteeni huomauttaa että koneen vasemmalla puolella on revontulia ja välittömästi joutuu lisäämään tehoa vasemmanpuoleisiin moottoreihin kun kaikki neljäsataa japanilaista ryntäävät toiselle puolelle konetta kiljuen ihastuksesta. Tällä kertaa jätin kuuleman mukaan harvinaisen kauniit tulet katsomatta ja keskityin ihastelemaan japanilaisia. Ainoa käsillä oleva kamera oli kännykässä joten tämä kiintoisa luonnonilmiö jäi ikuistamatta… ilmeisesti kuitenkin joku päätti kuvata tilanteen kamerakännykällä, sillä hetken kuluttua kuului ääni jota ei tosiaankaan odota kuulevansa 10000 metrin korkeudessa jossain pohjois-Siperian yllä: Nokia Tune…. Tästä huolimatta mikään peräsiipi ei pudonnut koneesta mutta paikalle ilmaantui tiukan näköinen miespuolinen lentoemo joka yritti kai löytää jonkun iloisesti puhelemassa puhelimeensa…

Ties

IMG_1923.jpgPicture this. Some winter day, just before christmas, in a tiny mountain village in southern Poland. Early sixties. Dashing through the snow a one horse sleigh with some young people huddling under the blankets, early morning long before sunrise. Through darkness to a tiny wooden chapel in the forest, where the voices of mountain singers fill the air with traditional christmas songs. One of the travelers is a 14-year-old boy from the village, who looks at the young woman in her twenties who is mesmerized by the music.
Many, many years and lives later, my mother receives a package with a christmas card and a CD. Instead of the well-thought-about “Seasonal Greetings!” the message bridges over time: “… even though I was only a teenager back then, I remember how you were fascinated by the simple beauty of those songs in the small church in X. These days, I have a wife and two songs, and we enjoy singing together. This CD is our recording – what it lacks in technical perfection, it should make up with our sincere best wishes and prayers for you and your family…”
I suck at keeping in touch. I am probably a person who NEVER ever will have Time to do, think, say, spend time with anything/anybody, without making an effort. It is easy to say and think that I just happen to live on the other (sunny) side of the planet than most of everybody else (even though the Everybody(tm) is doing a nice effort of living on the same shaky island as I am), but I see now that it is just a lousy excuse.
My family’s been always living far away from their particular “everyone else”, but still Mother can count over ten friends so close that they can be counted on for help in a difficult situation, that always will be ready to offer shelter and food if needed. I guess that does not happen just by being far away and concentrating on one’s personal small and great worries that are sometimes too big, too shapeless, too difficult to grasp at any level at all, not to say resolve…
IMG_1939.jpgI have no idea where I will be in 20 years; wondering if there will be someone who knew me when I was 20 and still would keep in touch even though living far away from my daily life, I make a promise for new year. I usually make a promise for the new year to become a better person in some way – not that it would have been successful so much, but “vain lottoamalla voi voittaa”. This year I promise to do my best to keep in touch, write at least some e-mails to the ones I care about. It should not be so hard, shouldn’t it?
(Not receiving personal communication from me does NOT mean I would not care about you, just that I’m still the same old introvert narcist who can not keep promises. Last year I promised to stop worrying about everything and strangling myself with stress – did not do much…)
During my last days in Helsinki, Mother hangs a candle outside the door to welcome me back from where ever I was. Familiar sound of the dishwasher and peaceful breathing of the Dog carry me off to sleep, once more.

Päivän koirablogaus

IMG_1918.jpgKissanruoka loppui ja kauppa kiinni. Kaapissa on vain Sertiä ja koira esittää kohtauksen baletista “Joutsenlampi” (arvatkaa vapaasti minkä niistä) tanssien nälkäkurjen osan. Koko päivän vastusteltuaan viimein Koira suostuu syömään Koiranruokaa jos sitä hänelle tarjoillaan haarukalla suoraan purkista.
Havaitsimme myös että näin tulee paljon vähemmän sotkua kuin silloin jos Koiran annetaan käyttää suulaitteistoaan syömiseen kupista.
Viime yönä lopulta hävisin taistelun peitosta ja sänkytilasta ja kömmin lattialle viltin alle nukkumaan. Minkä seurauksena Koira kiipeää alas sängystä mun viereen (tai oikeammin päälleni) nukkumaan. Hetken kuluttua minä ryömin taas sänkyyn, otan koko peiton ja tukevan haara-asennon jolla valtaan suurimman osan sängystä. Koira herää, katsoo hetken, huokaa syvään ja hipsii nukkumaan normaalille paikalleen kerälle jalkopäähäni.
Aamulla Koira jakaa taas kanssani tyynyn ja äiti saa kiskoa sen talutushihnasta ulos lenkille.
Koira tietää että olen lähdössä; vaikka kuinka yritin salaa tarkastella matkalaukkuni tilavuuden ja hankittujen tavaroiden suhdetta, ei Koiraa voi huijata. Vahtii joka askeltani.
Ehkä mun pitäisi leikkaa siltä vielä kynnet uudemman kerran niin ei jäisi turhan ruusuisia muistoja ja murhetta.

Yet another year

IMG_1825.jpg has gone by, and I don’t want to look back on it.
In any case, visited several parties shortly, met more people than can remember, most of them for not longer than it takes to say hello. Felt mostly like an outsider, and someone asked me ‘who are you stranger and what have you done with Yoe’. I guess that my life just is elsewhere already… except that, the hours spent in Talo, with sweet, dear friends, relaxing with no stress and obligations, made me feel more at home than anywhere. Stability, continuation. The friends do not disappear from my life even though the already surreal reality of living in Finland fades away when the plane leaves ground in a few days. Warm lights in the snow. Thank you.
It seems to us – me and the Dog – that the campaign “don’t buy fireworks, donate to Red Cross instead” was not very succesful, judging from the amount of noise and smoke in the air in the neighbourhood from early afternoon on. I found out also that the Dog is not completly deaf, after all, but most likely the condition was quite helpful in keeping the situation under control.
Life lasts only a moment and even that is dark and sad. Thousands of people died in the waves, thousands others are suffering elsewhere, all of them personal tragedies that can crush the will to live. Why celebrate, why throw money in the air in the form of burning packages of silver lights, when there’s so much sad and evil and pain and suffering in the world?`

IMG_1867.jpgExactly, because there is so much pain, because we all die, nearly everyone is unhappy for some part of their lives and your close ones suffer. How would anyone want to keep on if it was not allowed to celebrate the small joys, the everyday happiness, the turning of time, the time the disaster did not hit us, my loved ones are safe, we did make it through another year? Most certainly there will be a new year of mourning for me, when those that are close to me were hit by fate, did not make it through. But not yet.
I’m sitting next to the quiet christmas tree, breathing the smell of tradition, and the promise of continuation. Slowly eating up the remaining christmas chocolates. The dog dozes off on the sofa, occasionally waking up to make sure the damn squirrel won’t again invade the feeding place for small birds.
Maybe, this time, this year will be good.

Nyt on shopattu.

IMG_1837.jpgEn halua edes miettiä kuinka paljon rahaa on kulunut. Ja tämä siitä huolimatta että ilmeisesti Helsingistä ei löydy mitään kenkiä jotka olis edes suhteellisen kivoja, tai vaatteita jotka ei tuntuis hölmöiltä. Lukuunottamatta siis tietenkään Siruksen puotia.
Miten must on tullu sellanen että H&M:n valikoimat ei vaan inspiroi?
Ostoksiin kuuluu mm. piirakkapulikka, kierrevispilä, marttiinipuukko ja halokakkonen, hammasharja, hiusvärejä ja epälukuinen määrä epämääräisiä suomalaisia CD-levyjä. Matkalaukku on jo puolillaan vaikka suklaita ei ole hankittu eikä jauhoja. El Panique.
Vasemmalla on Helsingin merkittävin jouluvalokatu, Aleksanterinkatu.

millenario01.740.jpg Vertailun vuoksi yksi Tokion jouluvalokaduista.
Tääl on niin sievää tääl Suomessa! Oikeasti kuljen tippa linssissä kun on niin lutuista. Pienet valot, pienet alennusmyynnit… Ehkä täällä kannattaa sittenkin elää (säästä huolimatta).