Two days in Oulu were as grey as expected. The first day was not so bad because I had to walk in the rain for a few kilometers with my stuff. The rain felt great, it cooled me down, and made me feel refreshed and alive. But overcast days without rain start to wear on a person, no matter how much one likes a place.
Today I started to feel crummy. Sitting in the arctic town of Rovaniemi and watching the grey river, a faint shimmer of blue was in the distance. “I have to get there.” I walked out of the town up paths paved and unpaved to a large hill. I went up eating blueberries and conversing with them and the pines. The sun finally broke, and I pulled the pistachios out of my pocket and sat on a stump. Troop morale was improving. 26 kilometers and a bit of blue sky does a lot for the mind.
There was an echo from my songs.
Valpuri said to me I need to be more brutal in my pronunciation. “Finnish is not French; there is no room for softness, you have to be forceful.” Later she said that English is a romantic language. I never thought of English that way before. It does have a lot of possibilities thanks to its rich vocabulary. Her idea was that English has the advantages of being popular; lots of romantic things are said in our internationally distributed media. Sweet sayings and sweet talk is normal in English but comes across as creepy in Finnish. I never thought of English as especially poetic. “English has lots of softness. Englishh hazz lots uhf softness! There are lots of ways to say things in English. If you don’t know quite how to say something, there still always a way to get the idea across, and you can alter your voice in many different ways. Finnish is much stricter. Only in music does it gain flexibility. Then there is more emphasis on the vowels and more possibilities.”
When the sun sits in the air like a beach ball until 11pm, it is easy to eat 5 meals a day.
There are more types of Metal, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Swimming at Midnight. The Record Store. Soviet Statues. The feeling of being by the sea when you are actually surrounded by lakes.
On a rock, with new friends, under the sun, near the sea, in my trunks.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Republic by Plato
The Shining by Stephen King
Lost in the Cosmos: the last self-help book by Walker Percy
The Diamond Age or A Young Ladies Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon
(Tags are organized alphabetically. It’s a matching game.)