This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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The end of me

booksEnglish bookstores will be the end of me. I think it runs in the family. Once my sister and I spent a week in London and lugged home 10 kilos of books. Another time she spent 3 hours in Heffers in Cambridge. I was not bored, either.

This time we spent a week in Oxford and London and I managed to come home with only 5 books (yes, one missing from the photo). But where else can one find an entire book about nightly walks of artists and literary figures in historical, sometimes dangerous nocturnal London? Or a book on quantum mechanics in biology? Or books and books about trees, the ocean, and naturalism?

Help. I may need help. If not for any other purpose, then to expand the entire wall of books I have at home. Just as soon as I’ve finished this book I am reading.

(Helsinki, Finland; January 2017)

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Dark & cold

snowwelliesStill a few long, dark months ahead. With climate change there is no consistent winter in Helsinki region anymore, has not been for quite some years. So one day I can go to the office in rain, wearing my rubber wellies, and walk back home in snow. Thank goodness I had the mind to slip on boot liner fleece socks or I’d have no toes left.

(Helsinki, Finland; November 2016)

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Interlude: spark joy

konmariItem for item, I made a conscious decision to keep only those that spark joy. In reverse, during the past month I have sold, recycled, handed away, or thrown out every item that did not spark joy. Cassandra the cat had her own opinions, too – and they were mostly respected.

With the help of Marie Kondo I discovered how, even if I thought I loved all my books, some actually made me feel really drained. I just needed to hold them, one by one, and ask the magical question. Thanks to Ms Kondo I also discovered how painful my collection of recipes was on my heart. And how many little nests of negative emotion lived in my drawers. Out, all of them out.

We are not the things we own. But the things we own have a hold on us. They either lift us up or weigh us down. And nostalgia is not always the same as lifting up. In this Western world of abundance, the ultimate luxury is to be able to only own things that lift us up. I am grateful for being allowed such luxury.

(Helsinki, Finland; October 2016)