To Be In The Moment

Hello darling friends and readers! Sunday is here and I’m wondering where the weekend went. I said to myself on Friday that I would spend my weekend outside, preferably taking some nature walks with Loke, maybe even visit Sammallahdenmäki again. I imagine it’s so beautiful right now — all that moss and lichen crawling over the ancient burial grounds beneath a vibrant canopy. Lilli wanted to go into Lappi to play with her friends, so I thought it was a brilliant plan.

And then the rain came.

sunlit-rain

On Friday afternoon, Jay sent me a message from the fields to alert me to big droplets falling from sunlit skies. Even if his visions and opinions of what is a great photo don’t always match mine, it makes me really happy that he has taken such a big interest. At times it has seemed he doesn’t even notice, but he really does. He just isn’t the kind of person to verbalise or even show it very often. I tend to forget, but then it’s all the more precious when I remember. Do you know what I mean?

I sat in the doorway again to shoot. This zoom lens is amazing, but I have also noticed that I have gotten a little lazy with moving around. When I can get to my targets by a mere twist of my wrist my feet stay in one spot. No change of angle, no circling the scene — this hit me as I sat on those steps. But my camera isn’t waterproof, nor does the lens repel water droplets, so I wondered once again how other photographers manage to capture all these wonderful rainy moments. I gave the old umbrella in our foyer a skeptical glance. I already knew I am far from steady with my hands, so to balance an umbrella while keeping the camera still seemed so daunting, but I did give it a try.

What I thought I would do, then, this weekend, since I have been stuck inside, was to gather some of my rain photos and blog about it. And then I remembered I didn’t join the Weekly Photo Challenge last week. So I looked up the prompt, and when I saw pedestrian, I knew my time had come to finally share my photos from VanhaRauma. Conveniently — or meant to be? — I was in Rauma on Friday, too. I had my camera with me and got a few captures of Vanha Rauma dressed in autumn’s golden autumn tones.

park-bench-vanha-rauma

I love these little “coincidences”. Twists of fate. I release a wish and, suddenly, out of nowhere, there it is. Like the mushrooms I talked about with some friends on Thursday, how I seem to find mostly soggy or frayed specimens. For the longest time I wanted to find and capture a round little fly amanita (fly mushroom in Swedish) without much luck. And then I found one only a few steps from where I parked my car in town! The last place I would have expected to find one.

park-mushroom-vanha-rauma

I can’t even recall how many times in my life I seem to have stumbled into these moments. Let it go, let the pieces fall as they may. Give up the search and whatever I sought has been found. Even blog posts, now that I think about it. They hardly ever turn out according to plan, and most of the time when I make an outline in my head I can’t even begin. So I open up a draft and just write. That is when it all comes together. Maybe not always with the greatest coherence or a neat, red line.

architecture-vanha-rauma

Yesterday morning I was so tired I could hardly open my eyes, but I went straight to work on editing once the coffee was ready. As I sat there, I wrote in my journal if I start the day with housework, creativity suffers. If I start the day with creativity, housework suffers. This is something I have thought about a lot lately. The state of this place slowly falls into mess and disorganisation, and I think right, time to get on top of it again. Once I put my mind to it, I am efficient. But as the floors shine, the sofas are free of clothes, and the countertops in the kitchen sparkle, my camera and my computer stand untouched. There is no mud on my shoes to tell the story of long walks through the forest.

rowan-of-vanha-rauma

Anything that requires a plan, an outline, a well thought out step-by-step schedule swallows all those things needed for my artistry. Ideas and inspiration fade into the background. My entire creative process suffers. I have yet to find the balance, and I sometimes wonder if it is even possible. Just like with those moments when things just happen because I let them go, I know that when I try too hard, look too closely, I go blind. I lose my sense of touch. That feeling and emotion goes numb.

kuninkaankatu-vanha-rauma

Ever since this spring, when I visited Sammallahdenmäki (a UNESCO World Heritage site and Bronze Age burial ground on the outskirts of Lappi), I got the idea to take you on a walk through Vanha Rauma. Another World Heritage site. I thought I would do it during Rauman Pitsiviikko — an annual culture event. Pitsi translates to lace, and this event came about from the making of bobbin lace. It was once a big thing here, and I think it still might be. During Pitsiviikko there are people and markets everywhere, from all parts of Finland. I couldn’t think of a more perfect opportunity to capture the beating heart of Finnish history and culture mingling. I painted up a mental plan in my head of what types of photos I would take and got really excited about it. It seems as though I completed it so beautifully in my head that when Rauman Pitsiviikko rolled around, I had nothing left to draw from, and in the end I went without my camera.

isokirkkokatu-goto-restaurant-vanha-rauma

beauty-salon-vanha-rauma

On both occasions from where these photos are taken I had no plan, no goal. I did want to take some self-portraits and dressed for the occasion, but once I wandered among these buildings that thought vanished.

cafe-sali-vanha-rauma
My favourite café. The staff is so lovely and they have a very tasty selection of cakes, cookies and coffee breads.

symmetry-vanha-rauma

I may be a big lover of nature, but Old Rauma is very special. I have mixed emotions about Stockholm, but I love walking through Old Town and along the canals. Old buildings and architecture like this gives me a feeling of hovering in-between now and then. I imagine horses and carriages, market stalls, gentlemen in long coats and hats, ladies in their dresses and timeless hairdo’s. There is something about street musicians that always adds to this magic. Unfortunately none were seen on this day.

tullin-kaffe-vanha-rauma

cobble-stone-foliage-details-vanha-rauma

 

 

 

Sometimes I wish I could go on these adventures with all things required packed into the car. My camera gear, my laptop, and do my blog posts on moving foot, so to speak. It is when I am in the moment that the impressions of my experiences and senses have most vibrance. They are fresh in my mind and the emotion that goes with it alive.

walking-the-outskirts-vanha-rauma

vibrant-vines-vanha-rauman-kellari

autumn-glow-vanha-rauma

On these days I thought how cozy it would have been to at the end of my photo walk go to my favourite café. To sit there with a cup of coffee and my laptop to go through the photos, then write about it. Still surrounded by the sights and smells.

So, with all this said, I think the definition of pedestrian according to the dictionary is so strange. Boring, tedious, uninspired, uncreative, unimaginative, monotonous. Being a pedestrian is anything and everything but lifeless or uneventful. Being the pedestrian in the moment, no matter the scenery, is to me one of the best parts of any journey. Planning and speedy results are to me dull. But then I didn’t always see it that way. Once I wanted to get to my destination fast and without delay. And of course I still find my way back to drumming my fingertips and drawing deep sighs, checking my wrist watch and wanting time to speed up.

Luckily, these days I do have my camera. I can and even want to capture these moments. Prolong them. Enhance them. Immortalise them. And I think that it is all there in the light and shadows, the tones and stilled movement, even if I can’t always remember every aspect of what it was truly like.

Now, my dears, I would like to wish you a wonderful remainder of this Sunday, and a good week ahead. Much love. ❤

 

 

Walking Through The Ages

Good evening, everyone! As of right now, I am snuggled up on my father’s sofa with a cup of coffee and my laptop. I just finished editing some photos from today’s road trip to Junsele–a smallish town about 130 kilometers from where my father lives. I went there with Lilli and my brother to have a look at an art exhibition by Jonna Jinton, and I have been writing and erasing several times over now to tell you about it. I’m laughing because I feel like a sloth trying to run–gracefully–on a tightrope. Haha So I am deciding to tell you about it later.

On the way up to Junsele, however, we decided that if the rain let up, we would stop at Näsåker on our way back, another small town where next to Nämforsen (a river), there are petroglyphs dated all the way back from the Neolithic Age to the Bronze Age. I can’t actually find any information that it would be a UNESCO World Heritage site, but since it sort of is within the High Coast area, I am categorising it as such.

PetroglyphLarge

A soft drizzle fell over our heads and Nämforsen roared next to us as we walked carefully across the wet wooden walking paths.

NämforsenCliffs

PetroglyphSmoothRock

PetroglyphElks

I visited this place about two years ago, when I came here to pick up my brother from a yearly recurring folk festival called Urkult. Back then I had no idea these patroglyphs existed in this place.

The landscape up here is so unbelievably beautiful I am at a loss for words. We walked around for quite some time before continuing our drive home.

Nämforsen

FallenTreeRoots

RestingCabin

BellFlower

Down by the rocky shore people passing by have made these balancing rock formations. Also called meditation rocks–I think. It looked amazing, and Lilli wanted to make her own.

LilliMeditationRocks
Lilli’s meditation rocks.

Would you believe that I left my camera battery charger back in Finland? I feel so silly. I realised it when Lilli and I arrived at Drottningholm Park early on Friday morning, after getting off the ferry. So ever since then I have used my camera sparingly, since it only has about half its power left. In fact, all the photos in this post are taken with my iPhone. I did however get some really nice photos taken with my camera in Stockholm, at Drottningholm, so check in on my Instagram profile if you want to have a look. 😉

When we left Näsåker, we took the so-called Tourist Route back. It ran closely along Ångermanälven (Ångerman River), and in the light rain the mist clung to the forest-dressed mountains. I kept ooh‘ing and aah‘ing as we drove, and we stopped at a couple of places so I could run out and snap a few photos.

RockBeach

RiverReed

MeditationRocks
I balanced on the edge of the shore to reach this rock sticking up in order to build my very own meditative formation. The first one tumbled into the water.

MirrorRiver

After these last photos we only made one more stop to fill up the tank and to get some drinks.

TouristRoadSolleftea

Early tomorrow morning, my brother and I will go on another road trip. We will drive across the border to Norway and go visit Trondheim for the day. It’s about a five-hour drive from here. My brother recently got his license, so I guess you could say it’s a celebration. And he asked me if I wanted to join him. Since you love taking photos so much, he said. Of course I agreed. So that was also another reason I opted to save the battery I have left for tomorrow during this trip today. I do wish I had taken some photos at the art exhibition, though, but I completely forgot.

I wish you all a lovely week ahead, and I will see you soon! With a few photos from Norway. ❤

Sammallahdenmäki – A Bronze Age Burial Site

Transient. In existence only briefly. When I think about things long enough, deeply enough, I feel like I suddenly descend into a rabbit hole, like Alice. My mind goes totally wild. As a result I thought that we humans are transient in the eyes of the universe. Our time here is so fleeting. How long will we be here if we think of it in hours, minutes and seconds? Poof. And our chapter will have been told.

Back at Härnösand Folk High we had a theme called Zero. During the weeks of that theme we worked in groups and made a timeline, consisting of images and text. We gathered all information and thoughts on this topic we could muster and put it up on the wall in the main corridor. I really enjoyed those weeks. If one person alone would research this topic–the timeline of our universe, from creation billions of years ago until present day–it would surely have taken forever. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to in six weeks gather information on this viewed from so many different angles. Cultures, beliefs, scientific, philosophical.

The funny thing about this timeline is that we had to scale it down and then put up our work according to when things took place. So you can imagine how one part of the wall in particular got cluttered with information. Whereas the other several billion years of wall before our time were quite bare.

I won’t illustrate such a timeline here. Instead I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally share Lilli’s and my walk through Sammallahdenmäki. Moss Cove Hill. A UNESCO prehistoric archeological World Heritage site practically in our little village’s backyard. According to UNESCO’s website it is “the largest, most varied and complete burial site from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, 1500-500 B.C.” So cool. One of my brothers and I once thought we wanted to be archeologists when we grew up. I still believe it must be such a completely fascinating line of work. Cuddling up to our few seconds of time here in this vast expanse of the universe. Well, you could say I got to try my archeologist hat on–Lilli, too–earlier in spring.

As a lover of nature, I ended up with more photos of the surrounding landscape than those burial cairns, but I managed to capture a couple. And we met a snake by one of these rock mounds, which made Lilli wary of stepping close to the rest of them throughout our walk. I was more afraid of disturbing the bones of whoever was buried there–that fleeting moment ago.

If you ever find yourself in Finland, in the Rauma or Lappi (the town, not the huge region up north) area, I really do recommend visiting Sammallahdenmäki. Until then, I hope you enjoy this little trek as much as Lilli and I did.

BurialCairn

ItIsARock
Lilli loves picking rocks and bringing them home, but apparently she had found out all by herself that it is not allowed to take things from Sammallahdenmäki, which she explained to me before setting the stone back down on the path.
PineCones

TrailMarker

MossyCove

VibrantMoss

DreamyTrees

AnotherBurialCairn

BeardLichen

FairytaleForest

TheChurchFloor
The “Church Floor”. A folk tale from 1878 tells the story of Christians and Giants competing in who could build a church faster. When finished, they were to ring the bell. The Christians raised the bell right away and when the Giants heard, they got so grumpy they left. Thus, their church remains as such to this day.
GlowingForest

GreenForest

YesWeMadeIt