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April moon

Last weekend I was visiting Sami. As usual, we had sauna, discussed future plans and did some brainstorming. We also worked on the quest system for URW, making drafts and experimenting with a little sand-box demo. It is always fun to see how open brainstorming just turns into clarity and concrete details, with no pressure. Sunday evening Tuukka joined us, and there was more sauna, stories told and ideas exchanged.

I was back at home by monday noon. After that I had four customers for massage, and late in the evening I went to ride with the horses. Tuesday morning I woke up and sat on the sofa drinking coffee and thinking about things to do - I only had one meeting at the evening, otherwise it was a day at home. After the coffee I went outdoors to feed the animals. And it was at that point when I realized that I have to re-arrange my plan for the day - there were three freshborn lambs. I must have miscalculated something, as I had thought that lambing will take place sometime when April turns to May. And my plan for the day had been to do some early preparations for lambing. Apparently, I was bit late, so there was nothing more to do than to go with the situation.

I have learnt that my ewes aren't the best kind of mothers. Sure, she had managed to deliver the lambs without my assistance, and all the little ones were cleaned, up and active when I got to see them. But I was unsure if they got any milk yet - I could see the mother just running away from the lambs, not letting them drink her milk. Well, I put her inside a small stall, gave her some more extra food, and hold her on place, making sure that the little ones get their milk. After all the lambs had been breastfed couple of times they went sleeping.

I colleceted some fishing equipment and went down to the lake to see if the pike spawning has begun. Almost all the ice was gone, there were two swans swimming near the place where my boat is. The boat had been upside down for the wintertime; I turned it over and pushed it to the lake. While I was slowly paddling I felt that this is the kind of life I was born to live. I heard an occasional splash of a pike. Unfortunately, I couldn't set my fish trap, 'katiska', as it turned out to be bit broken. It has a metal structure covered with a net made of nylon string, and the net had a hole about size of my fist. For the winter I stored the katiska in the balcony of my outdoor shed - maybe a rat got annoyed at it, biting a hole in the net... Well, I think it can be fixed with just tying it with some more of nylon string. I decided to leave that for tomorrow.

Back at home I again went to hold the ewe so that the lambs get their milk. After that I harvested the first nettles for this year. I briefly boiled the nettles and mixed them with eggs. I got the eggs from my neighbours - a week ago I was trimming the hooves of their horses, and they gave me eggs laid by their flock of hens.

Since it is full moon, I heated up my outdoor bath-tub. It was already getting dark, I sat sipping some red wine watching the flames and smoke dancing around the bath-tub. I gave food to all the animals and watched lambs sucking milk. It was midnight, I poured myself one more glass of wine and went to the bath. The world was all silent, the temperature slightly below freezing, the full moon up at the sky - and a reflection on the surface of the water in the bath. And, yes, I was thinking about philosophy and news from Ukraine.

Before The II World War, in Paris, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that when he meets his friends, they talk about the political situation and the threat of war. But when he goes to his parents living in a countryside village, the world politics fades into the distant background, and suddenly the focus is on concrete local things - people discuss about the level of water in the local river, they follow the weather trying to determine best time to harvest their crops and so on. Merleau-Ponty thought about this to be a lot like focusing our eyes on something - when we look at a bridge crossing a river, we see the bridge clearly and the rest of the world is just a background. We can shift the focus, we can climb a mountain and take a view overlooking the whole valley - but still, this point-horizon -structure seems to be not only an internal feature of human perception, but also a more general structure of human thinking.

As I'm writing this blog, every now and then I quickly take a look at the webpage of our national news agency, just to see how the situation in Ukraine is developing. There is somewhat eerie feeling to all of this. At the same time I feel that the real world is here - why can't we all just take it easy, go fishing and have bath and be friends with our neighbours - and I can imagine how things look so different when viewed from The Kreml, or from Washington, of from the streets of Kiev. But what makes me feel sick is when the feelings and lives of ordinary people are ignored, and everything is seen as a power game of the big states; kings and emperors figthing over a control of a piece of land... Hey, seriously - it is not a piece of land; it is the very homes of ordinary people. And after all, every one of us is just ordinary people, nothing more nothing less. So, if any of the foreign intelligence agencies are reading this, please go tell your presidents to have a sauna and to take it easy; let people have their homes, life is easier if we don't mess up with each other.

a newborn sheep
a newborn sheep
harvesting nettles
harvesting nettles
fire and smoke dancing in the night
fire and smoke dancing in the night
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Jeez, I wish I had your schedule. How did you get into getting paid to give massages? I'm slowly going into the red working two jobs. I'd get three if I could, but no one is hiring. I'd love to work on my own schedule and put some food on the table. My only experience is an ex-girlfriend but I wasn't focusing on healing if you know what I mean, but I'm told I have damned soft hands.

Haha! No matter what kind of massage one gives, I guess that soft hands are one of the most important ingredient =)

When I was about 20 years old, I went to a half-a-year introductory course of classical massage. It was mainly about learning by doing, which was good. It left me with the basic techniques, and confidence. Since that it has been on and off - there were years when I didn't do any massage at all, and there were times when it was a hobby for me, and sometimes I earned part of my income by doing a massage every now and then... All those years accumulated even more experience and confidence. So finally I just tried it as my main work; I started with some advertising, and after half a year I had enough customers to barely pay my bills. And even after that things kept on being unstable - there were times I was working as a helping hand at a horse stable, I was working as a part-time secretary in some local projects, I went on being a miller in a nearby mill - all the time doing some massage as a side work ... Until I settled back to being a full-time massage therapist. There were times when I was pretty low on money, growing desperate, and then suddenly more customers just poured in. That went on for one and a half year, until I finally decided myself to slow down... So, all the time I've been writing this blog I've felt that I'm working too much and that I'd like to have more time to do things of my own and to help Sami with developing URW. But the good thing is that everything I love is here ready at hand - it doesn't require a special effort to enjoy nature, it is enough to just stop by my yard.

So, yeah - life just goes the way it does. And so often it doesn't go as planned. Which is an adventure - trying out different things, encountering surprises, discovering secret paths and so on =)

Ah, if you have soft hands and will to do massage, just start with your friends and other contacts, get more experience, maybe find someone to teach a bit, and see how it goes. If you like the work I'd guess the clients will recognize it too and if they like your treatment, they'll tell their friends, and so the word spreads.


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