Marja-Leena Rathje
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birthdays and valentines


A blog-friend who knows and shares my love of rock art and images of hands captured this wonderful pictograph** and created this lovely birthday card for me. Thank you for this, Siona. Siona's blog is a treasure of beautiful, sensitive, poetic writing which is also a gift to her readers, do visit!

We're having a pleasant weekend at home, quietly celebrating my birthday (it was on Friday) and Valentine's Day tomorrow, all in one as we usually tend to do. As I've been too lazy to make a Valentine to put here, I ask instead, dear readers, that you imagine these artists' hands waving to us across the ages, making a long ephemeral thread of connection to our ancient past. Doesn't that give you a shiver, better than heart shaped cards and chocolates (ok, maybe not better than the latter)?

Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! Happy Friendship Day to my Finnish readers!

**Siona could not remember the source of the image, whether Australian or South American or? If you should recognize this, do let us know.

UPDATE Feb.15th: We have the answer!! As you can read in the comments from 'il', who is Ismo Luukkonen of Finland, the hands are from Carnarvon National Park, Queensland, Australia. I'm so excited, not only to have the answer, but to hear from Ismo himself for I've written before about his stunning photographs and website on Finnish rock art. Kiitos!

Marja-Leena | 13/02/2011 | 16 comments
themes: Blogging, Rock Art & Archaeology


Happy birthday, Marja-Leena, and I hope your Valentine's Day is truly loving.

Here's a wave back to you and all of "them" across time...and happy birthday.

Marja-Leena! Happy happy Birthday! I shall raise a pint of Saison Organic Farmhouse Ale to you tonight. It's brewed with naturally filtered artesian well water at a local brewery. Wishing you a hearty good Valentine's Day today, too!

Happy Birthday, dear Marja-Leena! I wave to you from the other side of this vast land sending greetings of continued interconnection for you to enjoy with your breakfast.

Happy Birthday M-L and happy friendship day too...

Happy birthday, belatedly. And happy Valentines Day. I love the waving rock hands!

Hauskaa kevättä juhlien jälkeenkin!

The hands are from Carnarvon National Park, Queensland, Australia. See also

And a reply from Astuvansalmi, Finland:

Hyvää synttäriä ja ystävänpäivää!

Thank you and kiitos to all of you! Hope your day is a happy one!

That is a lovely card. Happy birthday to you and Happy Valentine's Day too.

lovely. happy birthday, happy valentines, happy friendship day! x

A happy belated birthday to you, Marja-Leena! Much joy, creativity and inspiration for the coming year! Yes the hands of ancient artists are such a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, I think even better than chocolate and I LOVE chocolate!

Lovely greetings still coming in, thanks all!

Ismo! Kiitos paljon! I'm so glad I just checked my spam comments list and found yours in there and rescued it! I'm thrilled that you have given us the answer to the location of the pictograph, for I have been hunting around the net. Now I'm going to revisit your lovely site on Finnish rock art, which I hope you know that I have blogged about here in the past, especially Astuvansalmi. Thanks again and I send wishes that spring comes soon to Finland.

Thanks for kind words.
I found your blog a few years ago and since then I have checked it at times. Rock art is in my interest, of course, but also how the traces of ancient imagery is visible in your art. It is interesting and inspiring.

Ismo, I'm so pleased that you see these traces in my work. I've been interested in rock art for well over a decade, and especially in the Finno-Ugric region along with learning more about my roots.

By the way, do you know what has happened to, the Finnish archaeology portal? It seems to be shut down but perhaps they have just moved.