Today I was going to write about legacies of colonialism in Samiland but that has to wait. I got a note from a good friend and colleague of mine, a soul-sister and great feminist, a Canadian Finnish woman in Thunder Bay, Ontario (where you can find the biggest Finnish community in the world outside Finland – when I last visited Thunder Bay, I met an older Sami man from Gámas/Kaamanen who played us accordian all evening). My friend expressed her concern and horror about my recent bad luck and terrible circumstances. It was so good to hear from her and receive her support but what really moved me and lifted me into another dimension was her blog.
She had also recently started a blog because she had felt disillusioned with people being rude and unthinking with each other, not listening one another. This had compelled her to start writing about issues with softness, with a slant. And to what effect indeed! The poetic beauty of her writing and the evocative photos on her blog were a slam at my face. I had completely forgotten the power of art, poetry, images, different ways of expressing ourselves and the world in my battles of ‘making difference’ in scholarly Samiland as my friend put it. I realized I haven’t had time for nor given any thought to these alternative spaces and dimensions since I had returned home. I realized how shockingly limited I had become in terms of my mental existence, mired in frustrations and dull details of my workplace. But I also realized that there weren’t others around me reminding of these spaces either.
Where was the creative spirit and its explosive energy in Samiland? Where are the alternative ways of thinking, being, expressing ourselves? Where is the resistance to the mainstream way of doing things? Why does it feel so stagnated here? Or is it just me and my constrained existence that I’m not able to see and feel the creative spirit?
My friend and her blog opened my eyes unlike anything for quite some time. Let me quote her: “Looking at the everyday world, at what appears so routine and commonsense with new eyes, with an upside down look reveals not only green shadows on ice but all sorts of revelations” (http://northshorewoman.blogspot.com).
I’ve already turned my world upside down (for better or for worse – I of course believe for better), now I only have to open my eyes. Thank you, kiitos Taina for your moving words and sharing your blog with me. In the spirit of giving back, let me share these serene moments taken a couple of weeks ago: