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30th of March 2024

30th of March 2024
At first I thought to post this picture with caption "it is again this time in the cycle of the year" - and that sent me wondering if agrarian life is a lot more cyclical than the modern urban life. As, I had a feeling that "After a few rounds my daily picture series is probably rather boring, as the same themes just loop over and over again", but that was followed with a thought "wait a minute - despite this appearing completely normal to me, it might actually be worth documenting and representing". I grew up in the countryside, so a lot of this is self-evident for me, but I remember having discussions with people who grew up in a city and then moved to the countryside, how it took them several years to settle down to scheduling a lot of tasks based on annual cycles. Well, this is not a statement - just my half-finished thoughts =) And urban life surely has a lot of self-evident silent structures which I struggle to cope with, hehe.
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When I moved to a (much) smaller city with a forest nearby, I definitely started to feel the change of seasons more. I'd say that the biggest change was with the spring -- while living in the city, I had no idea what's the difference between February and March, for example. I still don't know the little details, but now I kinda feel that every month has a "soul of its own" :) This is a beautiful realization, and also something that indeed takes several years to adopt for a city rat like me :)

On the other hand, I wonder what "silent structures" you have in mind. I remember reading that some people did not enjoy "going back to nature", specifically I remember watching an interview with Beksinski where he said that he is a "potted plant not wishing to be replanted", or something like that. I also remember Bukowski writing about an incident where he got lost in a very hot forest without water and was terrified, cursing it and wishing to be back in the city :) (later to be rescued by his partner)

I always liked your daily picture series, even if it included recurring themes, but I have to say they started to strike me more (in a positive way) since moving closer to nature. I wonder whether this is something in me that I can't relate so much when I don't have particular connection in mind (but still "feel" that this is something good, positive, bright), or something more global.

Some time ago, I've read an opinion that maybe we should stop romanticizing nature and face the fact that humans are destroying it, so we are facing the future where going to a forest will be seen as something that our grand-grandparents used to do.

There are a lot content nowadays with people buying old houses and renovating them, and I can't stop the feeling that they are not showing everything, I mean both sides of the coin, that nature/manual work/gardening/going to forest is indeed something that can give you deep feelings of joy, but on the other hand I remember times when I, like Bukowski, cursed this land and wanted to go home, and I mean a residential block :) because something blew up in my face.

I have to say here that's what I always admired your blog for, when you were showing e.g. the floor renovation projects and some stages that were not so pretty, leaving you with I guess not so good feelings of being overwhelmed (I don't want to impute anything, just something that I can now see more clearly)

(I hope this post is not too lumpy/messy...)

Interesting thoughts, and well written. Thanks for sharing!

I try to write a blog post or two about these themes, some time in the future when I feel like taking time for that. Currently so very busy with indie coding =)

For now I'll just reply shorty about the "silent structures" of urban life;

A while ago I visited Helsinki. Friends living there had just posted addresses "come here, see you there". OK, I could find the places; big buildings with many entrances, and all the doors locked. I had a feeling that for the city-dwelling people these things are obvious and self-evident, no need to spell them out in detailed instructions. And based on my earlier experience I could guess the range of possible alternatives - either I need to find a right door-bell to ring, or there is some device I can use to enter a pin code to unlock the door, or lacking any of those I just need to call a friend so that they can come down to open the door. (And I remember when I was younger, all this stuff was new to me and I felt more or less lost and perplexed, just simply trying to figure out how to enter a building in urban environment.)

I walked the streets of Helsinki together with a friend who also currently lives in rural environment. And we both reflected on how, when you have spent longer time in the less crowded countryside, and then come to visit a city, at first you pay a lot more attention to the other people. Constantly picking up random pieces of conversation of unknown people passing by, and such. But after a while your brain again adapts to it and you start to automatically ignore a lot of the irrelevant information.

This is one of the reasons why I avoid driving a car in a city. Here in the countryside, while driving I need to react to anything which moves, and to every animal or human being which I spot near the road. But in a city my brain gets bombarded with a constant stream of information; cars moving, people walking, lights flashing, and all of that needs to be filtered to pick up the meaningful signals and to ignore the rest. Since I have no routine for that, I quickly feel overwhelmed.

Some time ago I went to see DakhaBrakha, as they performed in Helsinki. The gig was great, so very good! I stayed at a friend's place, and the friend felt too exhausted to go to the concert, so I went alone. I took a tram to get to the venue. And after the concert when I was leaving back there were no other people at the tram stop, and I felt unsure how I'm supposed to behave - I think I've seen the local people behave as if they try to pay no attention to the approaching tram, and just board it when it stops. But does it stop automatically, or do I need to somehow signal that I wish to board, like it is with buses? Not a big problem, it was just funny to notice how my brain needs to do extra work to do something which is self evident for the urban folk.

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