Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: mellow



Well, it's still rather soggy in southwest BC, with storm after storm bringing us more heavy rains in the past nearly two weeks than we normally get in the whole month of November, usually our wettest month of the year. More storms coming and no sun in sight on the weather map! Our backyard is a swamp but at least we aren't flooded by overflowing rivers like in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver. It's too wet to rake the leaves or dig up the dahlia tubers buried in wet mud. The past few days have gotten colder so I hear the mountains have lots of snow, I just haven't seen it with my own eyes with those very low-hanging dark clouds. We did manage a walk between showers, finding ourselves stopping for several pleasant chats with neighbours out trying to clean their yards.

As I've written earlier, we are enjoying the coziness of the indoors. Saturday evening, we filled and lit the fireplace with logs, put on some old favourite music like Anne Sofie von Otter's Wings in the Night (Swedish Songs) and sat down with some books. In this relaxing and mellow atmosphere I found myself often pausing in my reading to enjoy the best passages of the music while gazing at the dancing flames.

I'm reading Anita Konkka's A Fool's Paradise. I've been enjoying her blog Sanat (Words, in Finnish) for some time and have been wanting to read her books but they've been out of print until this translation. From her blog, I know that Anita has a deep interest in dreams and astrology, and that shows in the book. To me the writing is minimalist yet very visual as she describes vivid images and actions from dreams and real life, and sometimes the two seem to merge. Something about the mood, the air of mild depression and the slow almost total lack of a plot reminds me of some of Aki Kaurismäki's films. I haven't quite finished it yet but it is deep, thoughtful and satisfying reading. I wonder what it would be like to read in Finnish, probably a bit challenging for my rusty vocabulary.

Husband's book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce Lipton excited him so much that he was reading passages aloud, leading us into some animated discussions. We've been turning away from much of traditional Western medicine and pharmaceuticals and looking at alternatives, so this book was very inspirational and hopeful.

Sunday was family day. Our eldest daughter and her partner were in town unexpectedly so we were all together playing with the grand-daughters and then having a nice meal around the extended table. This long weekend felt almost like Christmas, was it the mellowness?

Reviews of A Fool's Paradise by Anita Konkka at:
Literary Saloon
Now What blog
And an interview

Marja-Leena | 14/11/2006 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Music


So nice to read about your family atmosphere and your current books and music! I am longing for a night or two like that, especially as it gets colder and colder here! We haven't had a fire in the fireplace yet but I'm looking forward to it soon. I hope those dahlia tubers don't rot before you can get to them!

Beth, glad you enjoyed it. We use the fireplace more in the fall before we turn the heating on, but this time we wanted it more for the atmosphere and to reduce the damp feeling in the house.

You know, we had our first frost just a few days before the monsoons arrived! This happens too often, so some years I dig the tubers up before the tops freeze, to avoid the cold mud. This time I was lulled by the very long warm fall.

Terrific photo! It doesn't, however, inspire one with a strong desire to go outside.

Dave, thanks! So it was successful in conveying the feeling! Today it hardly rained and I was able to go for a walk without a duck suit. But there's another big storm of high winds and rain coming in tonight and I'm wondering if I'm going to get to the studio tomorrow morning.

This photo reminds me of the layered work you are doing.

Today the Andy Goldsworthy dvd arrived from Amazon, thank you for the information. We very much enjoy his work. We saw a fascinating exhibition/installation/'happening' when he placed large snowballs around London. I think that his art is so much more relevant to our current 21st century situation than most of the conceptual work I have seen.

Your lovely photo looks to me like some of your other work, Marja-Leena! No, it doesn't inspire a desire to go outdoors, but to curl up deliciously by a fire, just as it sounds like you did.

Omega, How interesting that you would be reminded of my layered work! I didn't think of that, but yes, I see it. Must be a subconscious thing now. Enjoy the Andy Goldsworthy DVD! I agree with your assessment about his relevance!

MB, thanks; so you too see that! I'm cozy at home right now while another storm rages outside. I'm debating if I should go out and pick up a birthday present this afternoon.

Marja-leena: I listened to some of the snippets of Anna Sofie Van Otter's Swedish Songs on Amazon. Love her gorgeous voice! I am going to stop at the library this evening on my way home and pick up the DVD of Andy Goldsworthy to watch this weekend!
Yes - I am tired of being soggy and blown about - but at least we live on high ground - no threat of flooding in our town. I'm off tomorrow to play! (or more likely, stay at home by the fire, reading The Kalevala).

Jackie: Sorry I didn't get your comment until now! I never received the emails for the last 4 comments, strangely - only finding them in the blogging program just now! Anyways, I'm glad you like Anna Sofie Van Otter's voice! I'm sure you will enjoy the DVD. And wow, you are reading the Kalevala! I've got to get back to reading mine...