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It has been quite a summer. A lot of free time, meeting old and new friends. Eating, drinking and dancing. Some work and a good dose of leisure, rest and recovery. Sudden and unexpected things (both good and not-so-good - that is life). Autumn begins to creep in, I already harvested all the broad beans from my garden. Zucchini and pumpkins yield a lot of harvest, both to be eaten fresh and stored for winter. I've been gathering mushroom and lingonberries. And again I find myself thinking about the same old questions of balancing my time between working for money and doing this small-scale self-sustainability stuff. Sometimes it feels like a lot of resources are wasted (berries unpicked, mushroom rotting in the forest, sheep wool unprocessed, fish not caught, soil not prepared for gardening, the horse not properly trained...) because I don't have enough time to work with them - yup, most of the traditional agrarian works are rather time-consuming. For the whole summer I just forgot about these questions and did my best to enjoy the moment without worrying about the future.

Well, the summer worked some wonders, I think. I've been mostly able to face all this work without going back into burdened state of mind. Even though there is an endless list of things to be done, I try to find ways to maintain inner peace. It is not only about fidning time to rest, it is also about maintaining a good unhurried attitude when working. Couple of weeks ago I was working with renovating my house. I was taking down all the old thermal insulation materials - there were abandoned mice nests and tunnel networks inside them (I guess you can imagine how it smells like, with all that mice shit falling on my head while tearing down a ceiling.) As the work progressed there were areas with only the supporting structure and outer wall boards left. That gave me an idea for a short video clip. So, doing serious work doesn't necessarily mean to lose all the fun. Of course there are situations when it is necessary to go with a "okay, I do this now and when this is done then I can have time to relax and to do something nice" - but if that is the only way of doing work, it might have some unpleasant side-effects in the long run. I've been trying to find my way back to more like "Here I am doing this, there is no hurry, no stress, and it is nice to do this and I can have break when necessary."

One day it came to my mind that when I was kid, we had a long rope hanging in a big birch tree in our yard. We used to swing in that rope like Tarzan does - I remember those short passing moments of flying in the air; there was a sense of freedom and vitality. So I said to myself that sure I can spend half a day to do it. In one corner of my yard there is a big willow tree which isn't alive anymore. I cut some lower branches and tied a rope hanging from one of the higher branches. Again, here's a video. This reminded me of some of earlier posts, as I have written that one of the worst things in being depressed was to realize that funny things don't feel like fun anymore. Also, when being stuck in a state of chronical stress there easily is this lack of creativity and playfulness. There is only the idea of "I have to do this and that serious stuff, and only when they are done then I could do something funny". So, I'm so glad to regain more and more of my inner playfulness which I always knew is hidden there, somewhere under layers of traumatic memories.

Those videos, they are shot with an adroid tablet camera, and quickly edited with simple software. So the quality isn't very high, but with lower standards it is easier to get things done and published without worrying too much. Which kind of a suits and supports my playful mood. I decided to publish them in my own channel in YouTube, reserving the official Enormous Elk channel for the higher quality stuff. When writing this, there already is a third video out, and I've some more not-so-serious ideas waiting to be done - so hopefully, if I don't fall victim of adult seriousness and stress, then I'll keep on posting more videos... Let's see =)

Early autumn is very good time for many outdoor activities. Most of the biting insects are already gone, but the temperature isn't yet below freezing. So, one evening I packed my stuff and went down to the lake. Sun was setting as I rowed to the tiny island nearby. I placed a matress and a sleeping bag under an old pine-tree. I had a small campfire and felt myself already very sleepy, so I crawled into the bag and slept tight for the whole night. In the morning I started a fire and cooked some coffee. The water of the lake is already getting cold, I had a brief morning swim, quickly returning next to the fire. For a moment I sat there, all naked, feeling the warmth of fire on my skin, waterdrops on my back, drinking hot coffee and enjoying all these pure, basic, simple, primitive sensations of being alive.

Mist had risen during the night. From the shores of the island I couldn't see anything but the mist everywhere. Well, maybe the rest of the world still is there - it is just that I can't see any of it. I cooked some food, and it seemed that the mist is not going anywhere but just getting thicker and thicker. I packed my stuff and estimated the approximate direction of my home. I started to row, and slowly the tiny island faded away into the mist - I was completely surrounded by the mist, with absolutely no landmarks to help me to navigate. The biggest problem would be to end up rowing a big circle - to avoid that I tried to keep on rowing straight ahead to my chosen direction. When rowing the oars create a small whirlpool in the water, and those whirpools stay visible for a while. Looking at that track of whirpools behind me I tried to keep the track straight. I kept on rowing, until I saw a dark shape emerging - it was a buoy which marks a safe route for bigger vessels. Using that as a landmark I concluded I had rowed bit too south, so I adjusted my route accordingly. I was getting nearer to the shoreline, and soon I could recognize familiar shapes. Eventually I reached the bay where I keep my boat. It felt like a good adventure. I think I've often used navigatin in the mist as a metaphor to illustrate how it feels to recover from a chronical depression. Now this metaphor came real, without planning or trying to do so. But no video of it, only a picture =)

Moon over Lake Paloselkä
Moon over Lake Paloselkä
Cooking morning coffee
Cooking morning coffee
Mist over Lake Paloselkä
Mist over Lake Paloselkä
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