The snow is different here.

A blog post. A blog post. A blog post?

Now what, in the devil’s many names, does one put in a blog post?

The morning of my penultimate full day in Villa Sarkia is moments from dawning as I sit down in my room to ponder that question. My windows are too caked with frost to see outside, but having returned from my first cigarette of the day a handful of minutes or two ago, I know that Sysmä is still covered in snow, though the snowfall ceased some time yesterday evening. The snow is different here. This observation has crossed my mind often over the past four weeks; I have shared it with friends, shared it with family, shared it on Facebook, even. Ever since I first thought it, it has seemed somehow important, this curious, putatively innocuous nugget of Finland trivia: the snow is different here. Why does this feel so relevant? What does it reveal, beyond the circumstance it describes? And most importantly: is it blog-worthy?

What to put in a blog post? I have written stories—short, novella, novel-length; I have written stage plays, seen them gain in reality and independence as they came alive in the interplay of director and ensemble; I have written poems, though I’m not much good at it; I have written diaries, and e-mails, and letters, and essays and theses and synopses; I have written social media posts, mostly to promote my work and assert myself as an artist in these trying, hybrid, digital times, though I consider social media to be both tedious and dubious—worrisome, at the least, and superfluous at best. Out of these genres, the last would be most akin to a blog post, I presume: they’re online, they’re “posts,” they’re fiercely public, they’re by definition self-centred to some extent. But if I went about it the way I would a Facebook entry, it wouldn’t be much fun: the rules of effective social media posts are nebulous to me, but it seems obvious that there are rules, possibly too many of them, and too much of their successful implementation removed from the writer’s creative control. Maybe I’m going at this the wrong way. I probably shouldn’t be asking, “What is a blog post?”; should ask instead: what have I got to say?

Which brings me back to that sentence which has kept recurring to me, kept looping from the relaxed ebb and flow that my thoughts have become here in Villa Sarkia, kept rising to the surface of the cool, bright, tranquil river in my head to surprise me with its ongoing perceived properness and succinct clarity: the snow is different here. Because it really is.

Is it?

Different how? Different why? Different from what? Questions that sound every bit as simple and harmless as the original observation. Here’s an answer: it’s different from snow back home in Austria, probably due to differing climate conditions, in that thick flakes are rare even in heavy snowfall, each individual flake looking much like a tiny crystal or shard of glass instead—diamond dust, indeed—and the resulting blankets of snow scintillate in the sunlight, twinkle like a spangled sky at night. “It sparkles like excited stars, silly from a joke the moon told” is how I put it on Facebook … and here I was thinking I had no knack for poetry. (Is that poetic? I seem interminably unable to wrap my head around the category.)

And all of that looks both exhaustive enough and rudimentarily pretty, like there couldn’t possibly be more to say on the subject. Like no more should be said on the subject—less would have been preferable, even—for as we all know (or at least have been told repeatedly), brevity and concision are the writer’s friends and objectives; only amateurs lose themselves in verbiage. But exhaustive and pretty though it may be—it just doesn’t cut it. There’s something missing. There’s more to the snow’s otherness than what can be said about it descriptively, or explained factually. It isn’t just prettier, and it’s not just the atmosphere (climatic or otherwise). The residency has taught me serenity, has returned fluidity and ease and quiet to my agitated brain, and for that lesson I am ineffably grateful; but maybe it’s time to stir that mellow stream once more, to turn a placid pool into a bubbling soup, and the soup into ink; to sharpen the mind, sharpen the pen, and stand in the river to look at something in particular, as long as it takes, instead of going with the flow and taking in whatever comes along.

So I will look at the snow, and look at myself, and ask: what does that mean, that the snow is different here? What does it mean to me? (A blog post is supposed to be personal, no?)

I return to that first shot at an answer above, that the snow here is different from that at home, and I stop and think, and I ask myself: when was the last time I noticed, really noticed, the snow back home? Looked closely, paid attention to it? I love snow—have loved it all my life, as far as I recall—but that doesn’t guarantee that I’ve been mindful of it. When something beloved returns whether one embraces it or not, it can become commonplace, a matter-of-fact. One might still love it, but one forgets to appreciate it. Before Sysmä, when was the last time I truly appreciated snow? What am I comparing this new snow to? A fact? a memory? a distant memory?

A complete fabrication?

In recent years, it hasn’t snowed all that often in my little corner of Austria, or when it did snow, then not for very long. Things change, as we know; sometimes irretrievably, and sometimes for the worse. Maybe that is why the snow’s otherness strikes me as so impressive, so crucial, at this place and time in my life: it brings home the message, in tiptoed curvatures of thought, that change is inevitable. On some level, we’re all aware of this, and usually I don’t mind—embrace it, even. But maybe comparing the present snow to something I cannot quite fathom—comparing it and finding a bewildering unspecificity, a vague lack, in the position of the second “comparee”—I am reminded that sometimes, change means loss of something one didn’t want to let go. That change is perpetually in motion, and it won’t stop no matter how politely you might ask it to.

But knowing this—that things change, everywhere, constantly: how do I know that snow here, around Villa Sarkia, is always the way it is now? Maybe the snow is different not just from snow in Vienna, but from last year’s snow in Sysmä; maybe this is the first time snow here behaves the way it does now, and not knowing it, I have fallen into the traveller’s trap of associating everything I see and experience with the country I’m visiting, inducing from a particular observation to a general rule, when I can have no idea if that rule really exists or not. What a shameful fallacy! Does “the snow is different here” not just evoke my exposure to change, my “thrownness” into the world, then, but also my foolishness in the face of it? Does it reveal how narrow my mind is at its core, when—as a writer who has devoted almost a decade of his life to a philosophical education—I like to think that, whatever else I may be, narrowminded I am not?

So maybe the reason why I keep revisiting that sentence is that, as much as it imposes itself on me, I can have no idea if it is accurate. What are my frames of reference? A frightfully brittle memory of a generalised idea of what snow once looked and felt like to me, or even “is supposed” to look and feel like, in a world according to my frightfully limited perspective … and another illicit generalisation induced from a series of observations made over a very short amount of time that is very specific to one location and one month in one year? Is it okay, is it in any way feasible or tolerable, to work from that and arrive at the conclusion: the snow is different here?

… why, yes. I suppose it is. I suppose what I’m forgetting, or have been ignoring in my eagerness to be precise, critical, and extensive (so sorry for the length!), is that no matter if the thought is true or not, it is a thought of mine. And it hasn’t “imposed” itself on me so much as it just rings a little louder, and clearer, and truer, than the other notions chortling in the stream. And, perhaps most importantly: until I sat down to stare at the sentence, to debate it as though it (or I) were trying to make a point, it had always been accompanied by nothing but pleasure. It had been a joyful thought, merry, happy, giddy. I think—I choose that—I will let it be that again.

I suppose the sentence even contains all of the above, all that verbose speculation and (let’s be honest here) quite pointless elaboration; holds all of it, says all of it, “verdichtet” all of it. I suppose brevity is sovereign, a multitude of words but a sign of insecurity or narcissism, or both. So that should be my blog post, then—I will write nothing but the words: the snow is different here. Let the reader draw their own conclusions, the way good writers do. Chances are their conclusions will be more interesting than my preludious cogitations …

But that wouldn’t be enough, then, would it? Why? Because I’m a writer. I write. I tell stories. That is what I do. Consider this the story of how I decided that my blog post should contain nothing but that sentence, and how it ended up the blog post’s title instead. The story does have quite a bit to offer! Childlike wonder—at a weather phenomenon that seems both mundane and mystical; quasi-philosophical contemplation of a shyly metaphysical tinge (Finland’s snow, or Sysmä’s snow, or this point-in-time’s snow, or none of the above?); an excess of aesthetics, moulded into logical shape; twists, as my attempt to organise my thought process pulls me in various directions at once and makes a mockery of the very idea of the attempt; and even romance: mine and the snow’s love story is one for the ages. Perhaps it isn’t the most riveting material I ever produced … but it is sincere; sincere, and necessary. I can think of no better way to trace how important my time in Villa Sarkia was to me. How unique in the context of my personal history, how filled with marvels and deliberation, with freedom to think and do as I see fit, with writing, writing, writing, and with snow, snow, snow.

While I’ve been writing this, night has turned to day, and for an hour or two the horizon was a peaceful pink. Pink used to be my least favourite colour, but that was before I saw the Finnish dawn. There’s pink dawns in Austria, too, but still—still … it isn’t just the snow that’s different. The colours in the December sky over Sysmä are intriguing. A blue so clear and bright—so blue—you’d think the sky was frozen … and winter pink, a colour I’m not sure I knew existed. Winter morning pink—December’s Pink, Rising Sky’s Pink, Rose of the Heavens—which might possibly count among my favourite colours now. Time will tell; time, and the eyes I bring back to Austria, which I hope have permanently recovered—and not just re-encountered—the ability to observe.

Thomas Kodnar, 26.12.2021 (happy birthday, brother!)

Punainen mekko

Tosi harva ihminen tietää, miltä punainen mekko tuntuu

Eikä sitä voikaan tietää

Voi vaan yrittää eläytyä ja olla myötätuntoinen

Seassa on kuitenkin omia ennakkoluuloja ja vähintään kourallinen arvailuja

Sekin vaikuttaa, jos on itse sellaista ihmistyyppiä

Että paahtaa aina menemään ja kiertää kaukaa kaikki punaiset vaatekappaleet

Ikeassakin kurvaa täyttä vauhtia punaisten koriste-esineiden ohi

Siis käytännössä on niin omistautunut punaisen värin olemassaolon kieltämiselle

Että näkyvän valon spektri päättyy keltaiseen

“Eikö sen jälkeen tule vain pimeää?

Tai että ihmissilmähän ei kai edes näe sitä?

Eikö ne taajuudet ole joidenkin kummituseläinten juttuja?”

Minä seison vieressä valtavassa punaisessa mekossa

Sen seitsemänkymmentä metriä pitkä helma ympärilläni kuin vuorenrinne

Hihat ovat lyhyemmät, mutta painavat sata kiloa

No ei nyt oikeasti

Mutta ne luovat uskottavan illuusion siitä

Pahinta punaisessa mekossa on se

Kuinka se sumentaa ajatuksia

Lyhentää pinnaa

Pyyhkii lähimuistia puhtaaksi

Tekee yöunesta haperoa

Kutistaa ajatukset kireäksi kehäksi

Punainen mekko imee voimaa

Energia virtaa vain yhteen suuntaan

Ulos

Se kuluu

Se vuotaa

Sitä menee koko ajan johonkin

Mekko estää akkuja latautumasta

Tankkia täyttymästä

Joudun kaasuttamaan moottoritiellä

Tietämättä koska on käytössä viimeinen pisara

Seuraavaan liittymään on pitkä matka

Kohta minulta loppuu bensa

Mistä olinkaan puhumassa?

Teistä saatan näyttää ihan normaalilta

Mutta jokainen ajatukseni punertaa

Varokaa hyvät ihmiset

Punainen mekko on ihan saatanasta

Ottakaa tosissanne jo ensimmäinen oranssi kajo T-paidan hihassa

Vierailin Sysmässä jo vuosi sitten. Blogiin sain kirjoitettua vasta nyt. Syistä, joihin viitataan tekstissä.

Kiitos residenssistä, Nuoren Voiman Liitto, Villa Sarkia ja Sysmä!

t. Veera Hintsala

Playground

I have found a playground in Sysmä. No, I begin again. Because if you want to understand it, you have to hear a little blood-freezer.

There is a teeny-tiny country in the middle of Europe called Hungary. I am a Hungarian. Several thousand years ago our people and languages were relatives, now it is gone and only few old roots are quite similar. „Kala”- „hal”, „veri” – „vér”. In Finland there is a lot of fantastic people and in Hungary, too. But on June 15th when I was here in Sysmä since two weeks, the Hungarian parliament accepted a horrible bill. They said it is about the judgment of pedophilia but in the last second the politicans of our largest party complemented it with another detail: a shamefully homophobic one. Now the bill declares that no one can „promote” the LMBTQI orientalism in Hungarian schools, media products and magazines (some of us are scared that it will include books, too) for children under 18 years. We don’t know what „promoting” means exactly. We don’t know how they wanna manage it. We don’t know anything just the fact that we have another inhuman and heartless law and we just can’t understand why. I was sitting in the kitchen of Villa Sarkia on June 15th, read the hungarian news and cried.

But at the same time I was lucky because at least I had all of this. When I felt that I can’t handle my sadness and rage anymore, I could have a long, long walk. I could wander in the forest, I could go to the lake and go and go and go on and on till I finally found some peace. Although it lies everywhere in this area. In the sound of laughing seagulls (one of my housemates Klaus told me their name), in the whirling water, in the swishing pine trees. In the amazing cinnamon buns, in the smile of the konditorei lady, in the sound of a man choir which was rehearsing some music piece in the patisserie when I was walking by. In the kindness of people when we went to check how a real finnish Juhannus-night looks like. It was fantastic, with the most gorgeous May Queens and Kings I have ever seen.

Now back to the playground. I have found it on my third week, somewhere between the beautiful summer cottages. It was totally empty. The wind was blowing, the sky was grey but I did not freeze at all. I just stand besides the swings and tried to figure out if it is allowed for an adult to use them or not. But no one was within sight so I took off my backpack and sat in one of the swings.

My feet barely touched the ground. My hands clutched on the swing chains. The wind rumpled my hair. I closed my eyes and tried to hold back my tears. Or tried to cry, I really don’t know. I tried to do exactly what comes from inside. And unexpectedly I started to smile.

In that moment I understood that there always will be a playground. For everyone, everywhere. Sometimes between the trees and cottages in Sysmä, sometimes in the eyes of a crazy girl from California who was the best housemate I could imagine. There will be playing tools and air you can breathe in. There will be wind and sun and grey sky or bright sky and there will be us who just wanna play. In the press of the most evil laws we will still have the right for it anyway. And that is what no one can take away from us.

Take care of your playgrounds.

Kalapos Éva Veronika





Ádám Vajna: three minutes in the window of the writers’ residency

kiitos Villa Sarkia

(15:27)

nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
tractor
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
great tit (parus major)
nothing
nothing
nothing
blue car
older lady
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing

(19:12)

nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
(forgets to check the clock)
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
(realizes that the minute was done)

(23:43)

nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
there’s only one country separating Finland from North Korea
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing
nothing

For Poetry

Of course we come to right. The intention is there, beside a growing need for silence, solitude, time with the self… away from the self.

But travel is always at war with our intentions. We set out with purpose, maybe even with vanity and an unwavering vision of how we imagine ourselves behaving in new places. Then the road greets us at the other end and makes a mess of all our delicate arrangements.

And so we are left, instead, with the image of us as we are, and I was left with this: a foreigner who has come thinking she will find here what she could not find at home. That here, in your town, among your people, your silence, she will find it.

And what is it she’s looking for? If it’s a quiet place she needs to write, where does all the unnecessary philosophy enter, all those existential wanderings in the mind? Why make tragedy of something so simple?

It’s a question of travel, more than it is of writing, of poetry, of the temperament and need of writers and poets, the question of why we leave, and why we arrive at the places we do.

I came to write, and from my anchored place of writing, I was led down other roads, far from here, decades far from here, where I sit as a child in my father’s home, on the red carpet beside the telephone, phoning of my mother, asking to see her. I traveled down that gravel lane in the ghettos of America, and again, stood by the padlocked gate, watching a male goat gone crazy with his time of the year bang his horns over and over against the red barrier.

Sysma. A town of quiet roads, of departing Fall where the leaves send farewells from precarious stations in a song of color I’ve never seen before. It is the furthest I’ve been from my childhood, the crumbling white house, mama’s long brown hair, her dance, the house she took me to at the end of the cul-de-sac before she left. Sysma, with its timid gaze, its timeless avenues spilling into the empty country… it has led me through the years, all the way down to the other side, where I stood by the curved shore, watching the years gather into a poem over the still lake water.

Water. It holds the reflection of the thing, minus its weight. It’s what gives life to the reflected object, the glass-like image, freed from the burden of its heavy form.

And a poet, by the banks, watching her childhood, minus its weight.





Maiju Pohjola: Kirjoitan vähän ohi

tila tuntuu syliltä
kuin olisin juuri tullut humalaan

sen ikuisen 20 minuuttia, kun kaikki on hellää kirkasta
kun kaikki on alkamassa
ja se alkaa juuri minussa

kirjoitan vähän ohi, kierrän kohti
keskustaa      
(olen tottunut kaareviin katuihin)

silittelen kirjahyllyn kerroksia
läpättelen säkeinä

Kiitos tilasta, kauniista päivistä,
t. Maiju Pohjola

Tulvivat sanat

Viikko, viisi arkiviikon päivää, ovat kantaneet mukanaan vuosikymmeniä. Miten aika omalakisesti määrittyykään keveäksi, huokoiseksi tai painavaksi sen mukaan, missä olet tai miksi olet.

En ole varma haluanko käyttää sanaa energia, mutta joku sen kaltainen, paikan oma henki ja lataus, on ollut käytössäni Villa Sarkiassa. Se ruokkii kirjoittamista ja sanoja. Olla täydellisesti yksin (toiset kirjoittajat omissa huone-eristyksissään), kuunnella ei vain korvilla vaan kokonaan, koko olemuksellaan mitä maailma sanoo, mitä nämä henkilöt puhuvat miksi he näin puhuvat ai tuonko takia.

Juuri nyt olen tilassa, jossa en tiedä mitä olen tullut kirjoittaneeksi, mutta voin aavistaa jotain, olen havainnut menetyksen jälkiä, kiitollisuutta, ymmärrystäkin.

Syyskuun lopun viikossa on ehtinyt puhaltaa voimakas puhuri, vaahteran lehdet ovat kuivuneet käpristyneet ja raapivat asvalttia. Villa Sarkian yläkerrasta, vaikka ikkuna välillä onkin raollaan, olo on seesteinen, kirjoittaminen ei ole tekemistä vaan olemisen jatketta.

Hyvässä kirjoittamisen tilassa, fyysisessä ja henkisessä, alkaa maailman nähdä eri tavalla. Voi olla että horisontti hyvällä tavalla vinoutuu ja oppii kävelemään kaltevalla pinnalla, kunnes ei kohta enää huomaakaan että ympäristössä on mitään erilaista, osaa vain katsoa ja siksi näkee.

Tähän on pakko lisätä vielä kuplasta: näkymätön mutta yhtä kaikki oleva henkilökohtainen hengitystila. Kupla ei synny kaikkialla, eikä se synny pakosta, mutta kun se syntyy teksti etenee omalla painollaan, rytmillään omaa rataansa, eikä illalla, kun nurinkäännetty mieli halajaa unta, kirjainjonoa saa poikki, vaan pitää lähetellä itselleen tekstiviestejä, jotta varmasti muistaa aamulla että näin se jatkuu.

On siis tärkeää poistua välillä kotoa, kirjoittajanurkasta/-kammiosta, lähteä aistimaan toisenlaista tuulta, kävelemään toiset kadut. Sanat tulevat kyllä kun niitä kutsuu, mutta toisinaan ja tietyissä paikoissa ne tulevat tulvimalla.

Kiittäen,

Villa Sarkiassa 24.9.2021

Eeva Vänskä

Nika Pfeifer: Bright Nights 2

Kiitos for the good times! Thanks Sysmä, Villa Sarkia, András Gerevich, Luise Boege, Laura Serkosalo and Nouro Voimann Liito, Suvi Valli, everybody from Runokuu Poetry Moon Festival, Riikka Junttila, and Sysmän kirjasto for having me.

I just can’t get enough of this beautiful, beautiful light!

Here’s a piece from my Runokuu reading with Suvi Valli:

ZERO SHADOWS


flimsy

the lightest things worldwide:
threads in old films
lines on your hand
a hair in the milk
threadbare shine jusquʼà la corde
seams time-lined

Bright Nights

Rebecca Rukeyser

I wanted to come to Villa Sarkia in June because of the light.

I’ve known and loved the effect of long daylight hours at high latitudes: the giddiness that leads to sudden, expansive generosity that leads in turn to manic sense of possibility.  Because of my experience in Alaska, I thought I knew, for the most part, what I was getting into when I decided to come to Sysmä in June.

But Kodiak, Alaska is an island with a maritime climate. There’s a thick, crawling cloud cover more often than not, which, when shot through with twenty hours of daylight, turns everything silver.

And Sysmä—at least the Sysmä I encountered in June 2021—had a taut blue sky. It was brighter. Around solar noon everything was lit so strongly it looked crisp, almost over-exposed. One friend, when I sent a picture of a meadow erupting with lupines, replied “I don’t believe in Sysmä. That looks like a simulation. It’s too pretty.”

I found it hard, initially, to believe in Sysmä. I probably only started the morning after I arrived here, shocked into belief when I dove into the cold water of Lake Päijiänne.

That’s because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to fly to Finland. The borders were closed and there was no way in—unless I got special permission from the Finnish Border Guard to travel as a “cultural ambassador.” But that, as I understood it, was highly unlikely. I planned for another month at home, shifting between the duties of home office and whatever writing time I could eke out. Maybe, I thought, affecting a grim optimism, I could spend more time on my balcony?

But a week before my time at Villa Sarkia started, I got word from Nuoren Voiman Liito: I was approved. I could come to Sysmä. I was a cultural ambassador.

A title like that is, to be honest, a weighty thing. Cultural ambassador! My debut novel The Seaplane on Final Approach won’t be published until June 2022, and it’s been a fairly recent adjustment calling myself a “writer” or a “novelist,” rather than responding to the question “What do you do?” with a halting, “Well, you know, I teach a little bit and I do a bit of copy-editing but also I’m finishing a novel.”

But after a month at Villa Sarkia, I feel removed from that wariness and self-effacement. My writing, fueled daily dives off the pier at Camping Sysmä and bright evening walks through the forest, has been deeper and more immersive than at any point in recent memory. It had the underwater quality of early childhood play. I’d look up from my computer oblivious to—and unconcerned about—how much time had passed. Was it five p.m.? Was it nine p.m.? It didn’t matter; there was still time and light to take the trail leading off from Ketuntie Street, or off of Route 413.

Alert from the surfeit of light but calm from spending so much time writing, I took these forest walks with a renewed sense of focus, watching. The lupin that looked like a simulation faded and went to seed. A black snail made its way across the path. The sunsets, which lasted for hours, would turn orange before bleaching pink. And during a partial solar eclipse, when the midday sun turned a little gray and the shadows turned severe, the sparrows that live in the eves at Sysmän Teatteritalo wheeled around the yard of Villa Sarkia, chattering in distress.

The one night I took a break from my daily routine of swim + write + walk was Juhannas, which was also the only night the weather in Sysmä turned ugly. I’d heard enough about Midsummer that I wanted to see what it was all about. My residency-mate Eva and I walked towards the lake. We spotted a group of women wearing flower crowns. I was hoping to see a bonfire, but the air was thick and the clouds were a little green.

The rain started just as we made it into the shelter of the Sysmä Marina, where I stood gawping, surrounded by more people than I’d seen in one location since the beginning of the pandemic. Everyone was dressed beautifully; my hair was matted and streaming onto my t-shirt and I was wearing grubby sneakers. But a woman standing nearby turned to me, shouting above the sound of the rain on the skylight.

I explained that it was my first Juhannus and I was worried that the festivities would be cancelled because of the rain. She laughed; that was impossible. Nothing was being cancelled.

But what would I do, I worried, if it was too rainy to see a bonfire?

“Drink wine. Enjoy the scenery,” she gestured out over the lake. “And dance like hell.”

Suvi Auvinen: Paljastamisesta

Matkalla Sysmään lumisade tulee rintamana vastaan pian viimeisen kehän jälkeen. Helsinkiin ei ole vielä tänä talvena satanut lunta, joten riemuitsen pelloille levitetystä hallaharsosta. Jo kauan ennen Lahtea lumi kuitenkin syö kaiken. Näkyvyyden, tien ja penkereen eron, muut autot, taajamia erottavat kyltit. Lumi muuttuu liuskoiksi auton renkaiden alla ja jääpeitteeksi tuulilasissa, tekee kaistan vaihtamisen mahdottomaksi ja pakottaa minut hidastamaan rytmiäni. Ajan moottoritiellä kuuttakymppiä koko loppumatkan, puristan rattia rystyset valkoisina.

Aamulla avaan Sysmässä huoneeni verhot ja jään katsomaan pihaa. Kaikkialla on valkoista. Ei, ei kaikkialla. Puutarhapöydän alle on jäänyt huolellisesti rajattu vihreä laikku. Lumi on satanut suoraan ylhäältä, ja suoraan pöydän alla oleva alue on vielä puhdasta nurmikkoa.

Olen ajatellut kehitystä, paljastamista ja kätkemistä enemmän kuin on kenellekään hyväksi. Ensimmäisen kirjani viimeinen kappale alkaa lauseella Kehitys on vääjäämätöntä liikettä pimeyteen. Ajatus kehityksestä on jalostunut ja seurannut minua, ja nyt Villa Sarkian pihamaata katsoessani kirjoitan seuraavaan kirjaani kappaleen:

Kehitys on paljastamista ja kätkemistä. Kehitys vetää esiripun näyttämön edestä ja valaisee sen, mikä on lymynnyt pimeydessä. Merkittävimmät kysymykset piiloutuvatkin sinne, minne emme yleensä katso. Kysymyksillä ja epäilyillä kannattaa pommittaa ja valaista nimenomaan sitä, mitä on pitänyt muuttumattomana.

Kappale päätyy uuden kirjani ensimmäiseen esseeseen. Kirjojeni välille muodostuu silta, jonka tukipilari on Villa Sarkian pihalla lymyävä nurmiläikkä.

Joka aamu verhot avatessani katson ensimmäisenä sinnikästä vihreää häiriötä maisemassa. Lunta sataa joka päivä lisää, mutta laikku ei peity. Se ei edes pienene. Mietin mitä minun pitää lukea nurmikosta. Tarkoittaako se, että kaiken pysähtyneen ja kylmän alla on aina elämä? Tarkoittaako se, että katukivien alla on aina hiekkaranta? Tarkoittaako se, ettei olennaisimpia asioita voi peittää, ei ainakaan pysyvästi ja vakuuttavasti?

Jokaisessa luovassa prosessissa tulee hetki, jolloin kaikki ympärillä tapahtuva alkaa tuntua Merkitykselliseltä suhteessa omaan teokseen. Hetken universumi soi täydellisessä harmoniassa, ja sävelet putoilevat paikoilleen. On yhdentekevää onko kokemus Totta: vain sillä on väliä, että hetken kaikessa on järkeä. Tietenkin piiloutumaton nurmikko on Merkityksellinen kirjani kannalta. Tietenkin se osoittaa minun olevan oikeilla jäljillä.

Kirjoittaminen on väistämättä paljastamista ja kätkemistä. Se on tarkan omakuvan hahmottelua, jokaisen vedon harkintaa ja sen valikointia, minkä jättää piiloon. Kiinnostavinta tietenkin on kätketty. Maisemassa katse kiinnittyy nurmikkoon, ei kaikkeen lumeen sen ympärillä. Tekstissä kiinnostavinta on se, mitä kirjoittaja ei tahdo näyttää. Miten kirjailija voi puhua totta ja silti suojella itseään? Jos kehitys on paljastamista ja kätkemistä, kuten tekstissäni väitän, mihin suuntaan kehitys liikkuu jos jotain kätketään?

Kaiken ei pidä tulla muistetuksi. Katseen kohdistaminen nurmikkoon on kuratointia, se on yksityiskohdan valinta valtavassa maisemassa. Kirjailija valitsee sen, mihin lukija saa katsoa ja mitä jätetään tarkoituksella sanomatta. Kaiken ei pidä tulla sanotuksi, maailma on hyvä ilman monia sanoja.

Kun palaan Helsinkiin, lumi on syönyt kaiken. Se pysyy monta kuukautta sinnikkäästi maassa ja sulaa pois kun katson hetkeksi muualle. Kun uudet lehdet puhkeavat puihin, kirjani ilmestyy. Minä puhun esseiden kautta paljastamisesta, kehityksestä, kätkemisestä, hiiristä, rakkaudesta, vihasta ja voimasta. Minä olen kohdistanut katseeni osaan elämästäni ja kirjoittanut kuvani niiden varaan. Lukijoille jää arvattavaksi se, mikä jää vielä katseilta piiloon.

Kaltainen valmiste ilmestyy 20.5.2021