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Mostly harmless

Last weekend I visited Naantali, a cozy and beatiful coastal town. One of my favorite bands - namely Mariska ja Pahat Sudet - threw their last gig there. And my mother, aunt and a lot of my cousins live in Naantali, so it was nice to meet them.

The concert took place in a stylish restaurant, in the Old Town by the sea. I was slowly enjoying a beer, waiting for the band to begin, and I felt myself as a savage in the city. I'm more at home picking berries in a forest or cooking food by fire, but I don't know exactly how to behave in a this kind of event. I mean, I know how to buy beer and how to dance, but I don't know if there are some unwritten social rules that everybody is supposed to understand. Well, but I didn't feel uneasy about it - it is just this funny feeling of being little lost, which is mostly harmless...

As the band began to play, the atmosphere thickened to intesive sense of presence. We were dancing and cheering and singing along - and I find it so marvelous that the band plays a free and easy mixture of punk, jazz, blues and pop - and that Mariska sings not only about love and longing, but also about receiving wisdom from late ancestors. It feels as if they are not so interested if they fit any readymade genres, or if all of their pieces would sell a lot. No, it certainly feels that they wanted to put their own heart and soul into the music they play. And that is something what we, as an audience, can feel in our own hearts. Oh, but I'm not going to analyze more of it - I'll just post a blurry picture I snapped while dancing.

After the band there was a dj playing a funny mixture of some recent radio hits, 90's classics and an occasional 80's finnish megahit. That worked pretty well, as most of the audience was born in the 1970's - the music triggered childhood and teenage memories, sending people to dance and to party. For me it is OK to dance alone, and most of the time I forget to think about how my moves might look like - for me it is enough to feel the music and movement in my body. To my surprise I noticed unknown people seeking some contact with me. For example, there was a pretty lady who came to dance with me - and at that point I had already forgot to hesitate if there are some social rules I should know - I just relied on my feelind that there was no flirt intended, but just pure joy of movement. So, instead of just going with my own moves, I paid more attention to her and let my dancing communicate with hers.

I had let my hair loose, and while I was dancing alone, I felt someone touching my shoulder. As I danced and turned around, I saw a handsome man dressed in a classy suit. Apparently, he was bit shocked to see that I have beard on my face - maybe he had mistaken me for a lady, as I have long hair with natural waves. I found that funny, but because I didn't want to embarass him, I just smiled kindly and adjusted my dance moves with his. He spent a short while dancing with me, before he continued on to elsewhere. I hope he found a lady to dance with =)

Later on I spotted the woman who had previously came to dance with me. She was dancing with her friends, and one of the guys was barefoot. And I like people who dance barefoot, so I wanted to pay respect to him. I removed my shoes and went to dance with them, cheering the guy with a smile and a brief eye-contact. Pretty soon he danced close to me, shouting over the music, asking: "Do you mean to insult me?" Honestly, I really didn't think anything like that - so I replied: "Of course not, I'm all love and peace, love and peace everybody! And thumbs up!" Anyhow, he seemed tired and went away. Had I been insecure myself I might have felt bad about that - worrying that if he took offense when I didn't mean it, and if I accidentally ruined his mood. Or, if there indeed was a social rule which I was breaking without knowing it. But why bother? That was his interpretation and his decision.

After 3 am the party was coming to end. So I left the restaurant, walking a path in the seaside park. I was heading to my mother's place, as there was a bed ready waiting for me, and I had the key in my pocket. It was something like half an hour walk, all the way by the seaside. It was a dark, warm, silent night. Walking outdoors gave me time to chill out and to think. I remember that when I was younger, I also felt that if an unkown man pays any attention to me, it must mean either that he is insulting me, or he is challenging me to fight. And I think that is just a post-traumatic reaction I learned from all the violence in my childhood. But I never knew if the others feel the same - somehow I thought that it would be more normal to trust other people, instead of automatically preparing for a fight or flight.

Well, with these thoughts I found myself being lost. I knew the place I was bit bifore, so of course I could have turned back and go look around for more landmarks. But I decided to keep on going, estimating that which direction I have to take. No problem, up a small street, and I got to patch of forest - now my the house where my mother lives should be just behind that forest. So using the flashlight built in my phone I found a small path in the forest and followed it - ending up in a place I didn't know. So there I was, in the middle of the night, lost in town where I only know some places... This happens with me, especially in urban areas, but sometimes also in a forest - I miss a landmark, make a wrong estimation and end up getting lost. And I actually like the feeling of being lost, especially when it is mostly harmless. It was warm, and I had my phone, and re-evaluating my estimations I still had a feeling that which direction I should go to find places I know. So, there is no sense of real danger, but still there is still feeling of being "outside the map". As in life in general; you don't always have a map, you don't know for sure which way to take, you are uncertain, but still you have to make decisions, to try and to go forward.

Mariska ja Pahat Sudet
Mariska ja Pahat Sudet
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