The water – a peaceful place of fishing in the morning. A boat ride on a lazy afternoon. Or even a highway to fetch the evening’s meal – wild water into local canals leading to the nearest corporate grocery store.
The flatness of the sea and the small islands leave little secrecy for the ears. Thunderous nights echo and bounce around the trees, but so does your mum’s dinner bell calling the family back home.
Keyword 1 : Archipelago
In midsommar the water is clear and reflective, the sun setting long past when you’ve already slept. I can’t describe how reflective it is. The silhouettes of the other islands black against a sinking sunset.
In the summer we swim – but not during the day. In the night. After dinner we light the sauna and everyone takes their turn in small groups. Sauna until you sweat, then quickly run down the hill and jump into the cool sea. repeat, repeat, and repeat every day until you have to leave because you know it will be another year before you get the chance again.
I want to write a mythology of these islands, of this northern southern water. To collect the stories of grandparents who drove 4 children – one who was my mother, and a dog in a small volkswagen over the ice because that was the only way to get to their home in the over snowed winter months of the 1970s. Of my own memories and those of my partner, my sisters, my niece, and my father.
Keyword 2 : Flood
Intro: The Moomins and the Great Flood
It must have been late in the afternoon one day at the end of august when moomintroll and his mother arrived at the deepest part of the great forest. It was completely quiet and so dim between the trees that it was as though twilight had already fallen. Here and there giant flowers grew glowing with a peculiar light like flickering lamps and furthest in amongst the shadows small green points moved. glowworrmss said moomin mamma but they had no time to stop and take a closer look at them. They were searching for a small warm place where they could build a house to crawl into when winter came. Momin can not stand the cold at all so the house would have to be ready by October at the latest. So they walked on further and further into the silence and darkness little by little. Moomin troll began to feel anxious and he asked his mother if she thought there were any dangerous creatures in here.
Hardley but we perhaps better go a little faster anyway but I hope we are so small that I hope we won’t be noticed if something dangerous should come along.
Suddenly the moomin troll gripped his mother tightly by the arm. outlook ooh he said so frightened that his tails stuck straight out form the shadow behind the tree trunk two eyes were staring at them. At first moomin mama was frightened too but then she calmed down. I think that’s a very small creature and wait and i’ll shine a light on it everything looks worse in the dark, you know. As she picked one of the flower lamps and shone it into the shadow then they saw that there really was a very small creature sitting there and it looked friendly and a little scared and a little startled. There you see said moomin mama. What are you? said the small creature.
Keyword 3 : Boye and the Cabbage
My final story is different from the other two. It is of history and connection rather than imaginings and home – of a transatlantic connection only made possible by water and paper. It is very short.
I was born in Finland, living in England, and then had my first transatlantic flight at the age of 12 when I moved to the US. Fast forward to junior year of university in Oregon. I rented a small shed behind a house, half cottage, half cottage, we called it the cabbage.
I lived on my own in this cabbage, in a way a small island in the midst of everyone my age wanting to be be social and party. I like my tiny isolated life as I spent so many hours in school and rehearsal for my dance and film degree.
My landlord lived in California so he had a handyman named Boye a Danish man of about 60 years old who did the repairs and such for all of the landlords – John I think his name was – properties.
Boye worked in his youth as a freight worker delivering paper from the forests of Finland to South America on a giant ship. Turns out my mothers first job was as an assistant to that same company.
A very small, very practical, insignificant story in some ways. But I can’t help to think of it when I consider water, islands, travel, and connections.