Monday, May 21, 2007

Some things stay with us for no reason


One of the defining features of the Finnish landscape are the rocky outcrops, way too big to be called "rocks" - the word gives an impression of something about the right size to sit upon, perhaps. Stones that size are called kivi. I am referring to the part of our landscape where the bone structure of the land shows through, rocks the size of (bigger or smaller) hills. These are called kallio. I have failed to find translations that would really include a clearly defined difference in size. The kallio here is right behind the Steiner school I attended for a year when I was four, a place of which I have many memories. For some reason, the complicated structure of roots (belonging to a pine tree, to the left) captured my four-year-old's mind to the extent that they still seem to hold some inner meaning to me, the way they simultaneously flow down the rockface like slow water, and grip the stone with their wooden fingers. Not much has happened to them in the last thirty-five years. I tried to shoot them from a four-year-old's eye level. What do they mean?

I have a real love for the sea, and my own sea is the (piddling) Gulf of Finland, a nook of the Baltic Sea. Much could be said about the horrendous things that have been done to the Baltic Sea within my lifetime - extensive areas of the seabed are actually completely without life, they are dead - but these are the sort of things that upset me deeply, and I can do without upsetting myself any more right now. Therefore, I want to just point out the glitteringness (which is now a word) of the sea, my sea. I swear it glimmers and shines and reflects in a way other seas don't. I used to miss it so when I was away. Why? What is it saying?

my sea


bindi said...

Your four year old self would have sat amongst the roots, by herself or with friends, and followed their patterns with her eyes and hands. Maybe you watched ants move over them, placed toys in imaginary homes amongst them. Her little feet would have felt the roots pressure under her shoes as she moved from one to another, maybe there was a game she played, balancing or stepping in a pattern?

Even from an adults perspective they are fascinating, but children immerse their whole bodies and imaginations in a scene.

But the child would not have had language to describe her experiences so as an adult the memories come to you as feelings and movements rather than as stories. I also think that there is a quality about life for which language just doesn't cut it!

Anna MR said...

Bindi, that was a very lovely and considered comment, thank you.

I, too, am not convinced life can be fully (or even adequately) described with language (much as I love it). I think many (most?) human experiences simply take place outside of language, leaving us - the language-based critters that we are - floundering about, trying in vain to find ways of expressing ourselves, of saying the unsayable. Doomed to failure, it is still an enticing effort.

Reading the Signs said...

I think, possibly, that this is the place where poetry begins, or at any rate lyric poetry.

Lovely photos, ms mr, I am going to check out your flickr thing.

And - you too went to a Steiner school!

Anna MR said...

Dearest Lady Kolmio, thank you for the compliment. I was in a post-production exhausted state and needed to wander around in places that had some emotional meaning. I have always remembered these damned roots, but had no idea I would actually want to go look at them to gain - something or another. Strange.

I did go to a Steiner school - but sadly, only for a year. (I have an unfortunately varied history of early childhood daycare/preschool education.) I was an excruciatingly shy child, but at the Steiner school I actually dared to find a "naughty" streak and learned to get on with other children. I liked it there. I think my whole life would've been completely different, if I had continued my schooling there.

Just stating a fact, incidentally, not harping after a past that doesn't exist and which would have resulted in a future/present I don't live in.


Reading the Signs said...

Full steam ahead and hie thee to my blog where the first instalment of "My Amazing Hebridean Holiday" awaits you. And, as I said to TPE, the word "discuss" is addressed to you. A little task, he he!

Anna MR said...

!! Madame Signs, I am honoured, most honoured. Although do I detect a wee giggle at my "talking-arses-offa-cows" style of over-talkativeness in that invite to "discuss"?... Hmm. I knew that anagram would come and bite me on the bum sooner or later (and this is pretty soon, so no doubt there'll be more to come)

V. late tonight for discussion - have had the briefest look in large and your pictures are amazing. Anybody who whimpers about "saddoesqueness" is just gagging with envy, ok? I am gagging with envy.

Reading the Signs said...

no, really, who mentioned or even thought of the word "bum"? And if you have an arses-off-cows way of talking, you certainly haven't displayed it at mine, not that there are any cows there, mind. I have now put up more of Mull for your delectation and - well also kindly have a look at recent comments re technical support request.

Anna MR said...

Stay with me, for no other reason than that you want to...