Monday, August 13, 2007

Of revealing metaphors, and against a poet’s retrospective eloquence


It immediately feels that not everything is quite right, when freedom assumes a geometric shape in someone’s expression, or love adopts that of a nameable place. An aged oak forest is not grown by time alone. It neither treads down its meandering paths alone, obvious to human beings, nor the coarse, imbricated cleft in bark, within which disappears a scraped toy car, a downy glove.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

CocoRosie: Werewolf


In relation to wolves, the suddenly very important song of the moment is CocoRosie's Werewolf. Especially after dwelling on Carter. Ohh, I almost cannot take writing it. It's *** bitter to realise that I won't be there when CR performs in Helsinki on next Saturday. But then, who said that I cannot enjoy at least this bitteresque.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wolves


This is a meaningful way to begin something new.

Some seem to have an intuition that excessive freedom of a human being results in deaths and misery; own, or those of others. Such freedom rarely goes by the name of liberty. I shall paint the devil on the wall (a Finnish saying, which refers to being too hasty to presume something bad and, as a consequence, asking for it to happen), and it may be that I like what I see.

The lonely figure of a wolf intrigues most of us. In Europe it has been recorded at least since Aesop. These ruthless, solitary ones, their being diverged from the nature, into signs; black, grey, white, that remain foreign to the effortlessly dismissable, distracted creatures, known by us as wolves, that have accommodated themselves to this country's postindustrial time. Fairly many in the blogosphere have written on the theme, and reflected upon them narcissistically. I was about to link about but reversed my decision for unnamed reasons of conduct.

Some time ago, I read a graceful story in a book; one, which I frequently passed by in the library of my childhood. I'm speaking of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber collection of fairytale remakes, and in it the story The Company of Wolves. I instinctively use my tongue to reach for my right fang, the on that remains sharp. I rarely think of wolves living in packs. There is a Finnish writer, Leena Krohn, whom I'd like to see writing about wolves as she wrote about the murmur of swarms of bees. The wolf, in a fairytale, however, comes alone unless its appearance is the author's (slightly unfair and cheap) strategy of distracting the reader's attention from the characters' own decision-making, when suddenly changing the scene. Tales have no need of depicting the wolf eating. Feeding takes place as the story follows someone else's place and time, and lets its attention slip. Or perhaps it happens while the creature circles to a new location though a forest. Perhaps Little Red Ridinghood has, against the hunter's presumption, known that the wolf is a friend, not a threat. There is, of course, certain conditions and lacking security in what the future brings. The Central European fear of forests, as depicted in various traditional stories, has been recognised adversely by some Nordic artists (I am thinkin of Kauko Röyhkä's song Saksalaisten tuho). The theme of distrust of forests is common. It, accordingly, span as far as to the case of German defeat in the Second World War. And did not boars, witches, outlaws and wolves dwell in the often dreaded Black Forest? In Carter's short story the forceful wolf finds an equal in Little Red Ridinghood, much in the way in which the strongest female and male in a pack of wolves have a physical relationship. Referring back to my starting point, but deviating in aesthetic spirit, the only death to be imagined remains petite. It does not come as a surprise that in popular culture the Devil stigmatises the forest and fear of the forest does the same to the wolf. This reminds me also of the beast painted by Jon J. Muth in his Dracula: A Symphony in Moonlinght and Nightmares. In Central Europe hunting a wolf is pictured as a blind and bloody run; bootprints, snapped twigs, blood stains in the light snow shaded by trees. In the north, on the contrary, the snow preserves blood of the wolf. Few come to see it with its companion. But everywhere, the creature, in its solitude, visits brim of a forest. If you fear the wolf, you preserve life over pride and uncompromising vitality. There is a price for moments spent within the village boundaries.

I look for wolves within the drawer of my desk, knowing, that there are bound to be some living there after certain events. On a certain January day in 2000, some days after having scribbled signs on tree bark on a freezing New Year's night and in its cobalt blue dark, I wrote (in Finnish though):

(...)

You are not a wolf

and I have not been mistaken as one

my admiration of the cunning ones of my nights

moonlight and warmth of the dark

I have learned quite well

being a stranger


A winged beast on Bubastis' streets

sufficient in its own world and making

those of others' made into its own, little anticipating

wander too deep - you can lose yourself

not finding a way to familiar lands

does it matter

crops burned by the winter

water in wells so deep

that you cannot reach

grief and hunger

drafty prisons

forlorn wilderness

that was a city once


there was a forest

in it a wolf





(In the painting Brueghel's hunters are returning)



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The initial meta


I have, for some time, intended to write in English. This is partly out of my desire to taste and explore the language, partly from want of reaching more people than in my native Finnish, and also, to a considerable extent, from the fear of the language deteriorating in relative linguistic passivity. Bah! I detest the idea of unavoidably making many grammatical mistakes, forgetting articles or prepositions, and putting them where they just don’t belong. But hey, there’s an opportunity for a game here, a sort of whack-the-rat: point an error and I shall live in a state of both constructive and entertaining self-flagellation! Nevertheless, I prioritise the opportunity to write dynamically instead of time-consuming editing, I shall learn from my mistakes. Absence of stylistics and the dubious source of my vocabulary apart. I suppose that this apologetic burst betrays my pedantic character.


I considered separating this blog from the existing one and creating an entirely new profile to slip away from my friends, in particular, (is this not what I tried the first time…). Then I though what the heck. I must keep in mind the questionable maxim of writing for myself and ignoring any audience, while remaining responsive (a tragically autistic explanation of human nature).


To be expected (a fair guess): free reflection (always unique!), polemics, politics (domestic and supra-national), poetry, anthropology (I frequently get an urge of adding a sort of counterpoint of anthropophagy), friendship, philosophy, ethics, literature, feminism, language, science and technology studies, contemplations of my surroundings, and foremost, thought on freedom, or liberty.