This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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Retreating

retreatFor just one day I checked out of my own life. I reconnected with the person living that life instead. Under the skin of the person who travels 2-3 days a week for work, and consciously has to carve out time for life beyond a job she loves, are ants running around. The trick is, one only discovers them when one stops for a moment.

So today I sat down on my zafu and said hello to the ants running across my chest, on the inside of my skin. As I practised my walking meditation in 20 cm snow underneath sleeping apple trees, I could feel the ants go to sleep, too.

While I consciously choose to live than just to exist, in this context and in our culture, truly “living” usually means being active. Sometimes it is good to just let the world pass through us and truly feel it. The good, the bad, and the antsy.

(Kirkkonummi, Finland; January 2018)


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Not stereotypes

tedx“I was a normal teenager until 9/11. After that I had to become an expert in terrorism, the Middle East, and ‘being oppressed'”, said Sara Salmani.

In the turbulences of our world, we often miss noticing how the hearts and minds of children are affected by the crises created by adults. Questions are asked, perhaps; stereotypes formed, for sure. And there is no pill for growing up overnight.

(TEDx Turku, Turku, Finland; November 2017)


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Lux Aeterna

luxeterna

O lux beatissima,
Reple cordis intima
Tuorum fidelium.
Sine tuo numine
Nihil est in homnie,
Nihil est innoxium.

Nothing is more stately than a choral piece in Latin, sung by candlelight. And Lux Aeterna is all about light. The words themselves mean eternal light. Perhaps in a bout of late-night inspiration, composer Morten Lauridsen searched through sacred Christian texts to find those infused with light, and piled them all after each other to a lovely, nearly half-hour choral piece.

Perhaps for some it is a reminder of a chance for salvation. Perhaps for others it is a reminder of undying, unconditional love. For me it is perhaps the most beautiful blend of words and music ever created. Which ever the reason for each one of us, the church was full tonight.

(Helsinki, Finland; November 2017)


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Look up and tell me what you see

astro-2I may have studied a little bit of astrophysics and astrobiology, but when it comes to looking up and knowing what I am seeing – well, that is a completely different thing. The constellations I know are the ones I learned when I was a child: the Big Dipper/Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, the Pleiades, and the Polar Star. That is it. Orion? Betelgeuse? Halcyon? The Zodiac? I had no clue. How does the night sky shift (or how does our planet actually move) through the seasons, and how do I orientate to find stars and constellations? No knowledge.

Fortunately, spending one day with the local university astronomy society helps, I find. The only thing is, stargazing with equipment is not so easy. The past 3 years I have tried to combine remembering my intention to stargaze with the weather report and have not been successful at all. Every time I remember it is overcast, and every time I do not remember, there are weeks of clear skies to use the astronomy society’s telescopes. astro-3One sunny day in August I discovered that the little, old observatory was open for sun viewings. The sun is a star, right? Mission accomplished. And I have been able to stare at the sun without being blinded. Seeing its protrusions, its sunspots, all the beauty flaws it tries to hide under its brilliant light. I have seen the true nature of the sun and it is absolutely fascinating.
astro-1(Helsinki, Finland; September 2017)