welcome guest
login or register

Drinking white wine in the tree

It is Monday, I return home after a day of work. I open the computer and use all the money I earned today to pay some bills. I get all the crucial bills paid, but there are still a few not-absolutely-urgent bills waiting in the unpaid heap. Smells like signs of a collapse of my personal economy looming in the near future. Well, I grab some white wine and climb the oak in my yard. Sitting in the tree I lean my back against the trunk, slowly sipping the wine, listening to the evening birds sing, taking a look around.

In front of me there are heaps and stacks of timber. Small logs to be cut to blocks. Blocks to be chopped to firewood. Already chopped firewood waiting to be stored. And behind those heaps there are stacks of sawn timber, waiting to be used for future building projects. It is this timber which pushed me to the brink of economic collapse. Last autumn my plan was to minimize my work, and invest my time in a coding project which, once completed, could provide some additional income. But then, because of reasons, I decided to postpone that coding project to catch the opportunity to process that timber. Some stages of the process cost me money. Did I spend money, or save money - that depends on the way one looks at it. Yes, I spent X amount of money, but got so much timber that their ordinary market price is about 3*X. So, economically speaking, it was a good deal. And an investement in my future years, for now I have plenty of resources I otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. The only problem is my own coding project being postponed, so the additional income I was hoping for is nowhere to be seen.

To my right there is my house, and a small patch of garden. Luckily, the house doesn't have any critical renovation needs - there are a few major things I would love to get done, but they can easily wait for a year or two in case I need to prioritize other work. The garden has garlic already sprouting. I've sown beans. Pumpkin saplings are waiting to be planted. So are potatoes and kale. Also, I'd like to try carrots again. Further up in the corner of my yard there is a shelter I'm constructing. That is just a hobby project, and working with it has helped me to maintain my emotional balance. I'll post about it once I get the shelter nearly completed.

Behind me there are the horses. I know, I haven't been posting that much about the horses for several years. The reason comes down to me discovering that Raiku has chronic problems with her legs. So seems like she will never be a strong hale workhorse. Earlier I was hoping that it is all just a matter of training, and about helping her to calm her tempered mood. But, alas, seems like some of her bad temper might have always been because of her feeling physically uneasy, having joint problems or some such another general systemic problems, possibly related to allergies. So I have kind of a let go of my goal of training Raiku to become a reliable workhorse. And her companion, Monica, is retired due to old age. And she is a bit of a nervous wreck, quickly getting upset about this or that little sound or a sight of a dead leaf flipping around. She was okay when ridden together with Raiku, but she seems to panic if she is asked to leave the yard without Raiku. I know there are seasoned horsetrainers out there who would see this as a small practical problem easily solved with a little bit of systematic training. Probably, yes, but somehow I've felt that in my current situation I lack those skills. Or, at least, I lack the ability to systematically find time to carry on a consistent training with Monica. I think that happened about the same time when I started to feel that I have to give up my training goals with Raiku. So that radiated to overall decline in my horse training energies. So all of this leaves me with a hobby of maintaining two horses which are not fit to work. They are my friends, yes, and I want to keep them alive as long as it seems meaningul for the horses themselves. But then there also is the question if I'd like to have a workhorse - should I buy a young healthy Finn Horse and start over with the training, utilizing all what I've learned so far? For that I would need some money, for healthy horses are not handed away for free. And I would need to have a regular balance of work and free time, so that I could reliably and consistently spend time working with a new horse. At the moment I don't have that extra money, I only have a small heap of unpaid bills.

Now, all of my above ponderings might sound like boring economical and practical stuff. The all-too-common question of 'how could I earn enough money to sustain myself?' which many of us face in this contemporary world which has economy based on earning and spending money. Of course that is the surface of it, the practical side. But, the way I experience it, there are deeper layers to it. Like the question 'What - if any - is the relation between my inner soul and the external world?'. I'm aware that I often slip back to the state of non-relation, the mood I developed early in my childhood. In such a state I feel more or less indifferent towards my own existence, I'm mostly just passively waiting for the world to come to an end. And such a mood is not a very good guide when I need to self-organize, to prioritize my work, to manage my timetables, to find energy and creativity to pursuit my own projects.

I take a sip of the wine, and feel myself supported by the oak branches. The oak trunk behind my back feels solid and unwavering. Everything is calm and peaceful. Instead of despair, and instead of depressed indifference I have a feeling that my practical problems are to be solved, one way or another, sooner or later. At the moment I don't know all the exact details, but I'll find out the details as I go. I'm happy for this kind of inner feeling signals a major milestone in the long slow process of recovering from chronic depression. This spring I've been glad to have the help of Clementine's meditation calls. I'll describe one curious detail of the process; Clementine's warm voice had guided me to a dream-like state where I start to see visions of places and creatures, yet maintaining my ability to communicate back to Clem. She was guiding me to some place where I would meet a wise benevolent being willing to protect and to support me. I immediately experienced myself being in a vast blank space with no sense of direction. Nowhere to go to, nobody to talk with, only some dim stars shimmering in the distance. (That little reflective sound in the back of my head tried to tell me "now we would need some kind of a problem to solve, a door to open or something. You are doing it wrong, this guidance is supposed to help you, but you just go into that place which presents absolutely nothing to grasp!" But I gently told that voice: "Now, this won't work if you keep on thinking what should happen. Let go of it, let us dive deep into the subconscious and just see what will surface.") And so, after a few detours I found myself sitting in a tree, feeling supported by the branches of the tree, and tree was sentient, wisely answering my questions, presenting me with some rather valuable pieces of advice. - Today I'm glad to actually sit in a tree, with no hurry, with no angst. Slowly the deeper parts of my soul are returning back to life, making a direct contact with the rest of my presence, making me feel more whole and more capable of tackling the practical problems and more creative to pursue my own projects.

Sipping wine.
Sipping wine.
Heaps and stacks of timber.
Heaps and stacks of timber.
Raiku. Sorry the image is unsharp for I had my camera settings wrong =)
Raiku. Sorry the image is unsharp for I had my camera settings wrong =)
296 users have voted.


Careful up there..

Hehe, I managed the tree part pretty fine. But while I was writing the blog post, at some point I accidentally mispressed some combination of keys, closing the browser tab and losing a few paragraphs of text. A note to self: don't drink and type =)

Good to hear from you.

Chin up!


Yup, for several weeks I had a feeling that I would like to post something like this, but somehow I had to wait for a right time to have a mood to write. Sure, no problem - despite me writing about financial and emotional problems, I still feel that all my current troubles are just minor waves on the surface of deep water of peace and tranquil. Every morning when I enjoy unhurried coffee I feel merry and thankful for my life. Several times a day in the midst of my household chores I stop to marvel the luxurious abundance of beauty of my surroudings - the fresh air, the delicate fragnance of apple blossom, the lush green of the forests, and all the peace.

Hi Erkka. wonderful post with words that made me feel like i was in that oak tree too. Thanks for sharing with us your making and make us wonder about life and nature, about what really matters or not. Bella is asking about Monica and The Other Cat. ;)

Good stuff, really like reading these. I read all the blog posts from the beginning to the end, took me like 2 months but I finally did it. And don't worry about what you write, it's still entertaining as it is :)

Wow! So nice to hear that you've read through the bulk of blog posts =)

Hmm, yes, I think that in that many posts I've written about my doubts and insecurities, when I've felt that maybe all of my writings are just stupid and annoying =) Yet, I've written anyway, for I would like to live in a world where people don't feel a need to hide their vulnerability, a world where anyone can be imperfect and weak at a times. (Sometimes I see articles about how people tend to use the social media to portray a polished and improved version of their lives. I've never quite understood that, and sometimes I purposefully choose to post about my life and personality just as mundanely messy and imperfect as it is.)

But, this spring it has also been that many of thoughs have been sparked by interaction with my neighbours. And I'm writing with my own name, and I think some of the local people might be reading the blog as well, so I take extra care to protect the privacy of my neighbours. I don't feel like describing my experiences, feelings and thoughts about interacting with this or that recognizable neighbour - after all, my neighbours have not chosen to openly expose their actions and words to the wide open audience of the internet. And this winter and spring there has been a lot more interaction with my neighbours than in the earlier years. So I'd guess that has partly contributed towards me writing fewer blog posts. Hehe, yes, so that is another dimension in me worrying about what to write and what not to write.

Good to read a new post.
(Norfolk, UK)

Thanks for the feedback! It always makes writing feel more meaningful when I hear that there are real people out there reading.

Also, it is nice that you mention where you are posting from. Wikipedia says that "Norfolk is a largely rural county with a population density of 401 per square mile (155 per km2)." My region is Pirkanmaa, with population density of 35/km2 (90/sq mi). Or, going down to more detailed level, our munincipality Mänttä-Vilppula has population density of 18.67/km2 (48.4/sq mi). And sometimes I wonder if I'd like to move someplace more farther away from other people =)

Thank you for the new blog entry. I'm glad that you feel more balanced, even in the face of day-to-day struggles. Keep it up! :)

Hello! Yes, the journey goes on!

It might be stupid commenting on a blog post almost two years old. But even if this post is in the past for you and you may hardly remember writing it, I just wanted let you know that I thank you for recording your experiences and that they resonate with me.

Especially parts such as: "'What - if any - is the relation between my inner soul and the external world?'" While day to day practicalities demand having enough for sustaining oneself, in essence money is an abstraction of our relation to the world around us.

Thank you for sharing the shamanic journey - also something that resonated with me. You've broadened my horizons by introducing me to Clementine's blog, which related to a lot of subjects that interest me: Advaita vedanta, shamanism, vipassana...

It takes a certain amount of 'guts' to look an uncertain future in the eye, greeting it with a cheery confidence the logical brain wars against.

Cheers Erkka!

Not stupid at all, in my eyes =) Like, how many times one had read a book which is 10, 100 or 2000 years old, finds the writings touching and inspiring, wishing there was an easy way to contact the author. Now, in times of the internet, with a blog format we luckily have that easy option for feedback and sharing thoughts and feelings. Also, I'm glad to see that some people browse back to older entries and still find them relevant. I'm glad to see that all of the internet doesn't need to be hectic fast-paced stream of quick impressions to momentarily entertain people with short attention-span.

Hehe, maybe I need to write a post on slowness, one day =) I think there is some wisdom hidden in there. Like, if you plant a seed, after that you just water the soil and allow the seed all the time it needs to grow and to possibly yield harvest. A lot of things come with their own internal time-horizon, and even though the human mind can instantaneously imagine possible outcomes, that outcome doesn't need to happen instantly. Things take time to grow and to mature. Sometimes I wonder if the digital era somehow blurs our innate understanding of slowness =)


Add new comment

Please reply with a single word.
Fill in the blank.