On Independence

This year marks the centenary of Finland’s independence. So, in keeping with the celebratory mood, I’ve compiled a list of top 10 things I love about my second home.

And so here they are, in no particular order:

  • Silence is fun
  • Education is a right, not a privilege
  • Sauna
  • Safe and peaceful
  • Finnish cuisine; a gift from nature
  • Friendships are genuine
  • Finns live outdoors, there’s no such thing as bad weather here
  • Gender equality
  • Winter is a fairy tale
  • Nature; a poem


    This list doesn’t even begin to express how I love my life here. But, but…I’ve been putting together more thoughts, observations and gratitude in a language I know how – poetry.

    A chapbook containing 10 pieces will hopefully be available (in limited edition) early next year. I wanted it to coincide with the celebrations but I unfortunately missed the deadline.

    I hear you ask, “How can you miss a deadline? What kind of a writer are you?” Well, because I receive a “bribe” every month so that I can forget my dream of becoming a full-time writer. 🙂

    Last but not least, Happy Independence Day to my Finnish family and friends!

  • Discovering

    “I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” ~ Robert Frost

    Everyday for me is a discovery. I think it’s fair to say nobody knows how a day will end, much like writing poetry for me. I guess that’s what makes life interesting and writing compulsive. But the act of discovering: to dig deep and reach for those dark corners, to peel away protective coverings, to take off the armour and be vulnerable, whilst hiding the amount of sweat it takes to make it all seem effortless, can be daunting and downright scary.

    Staying in the comfort zone and be safe is not an option either. The desire to find meaning from trivial to the most profound compels me to keep on unearthing. So, thanks to Magaly Guerrero for hosting Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month challenge. It’s been challenging but exciting to immerse myself in darkness, and to find out that dark is beautiful; a frightening magic.

    Thanks to you all wicked darling participants for inspiration (through your work and art forms) and encouragement as I push my boundaries. A big thank you to all readers of my blog for comments and show of support as I keep discovering.

    In May, the sun shines. I’ll be courting the lake to win the favour of birds.

    Thanks piratepatty too for inviting me along the quote challenge. If you are a book lover, please do visit her blog, you’ll find a lot of helpful book reviews.

    Things I Imagined

    My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.” ~ John Keats

    Growing up in the countryside rewarded with plenty of time to observe things. We didn’t have TV at home during my early childhood. So reading, oral storytelling and playing outdoors were forms of entertainment. It was after those outdoor activities, I penned down my observations. For example, I would fill a book page with “a bee flies from flower to flower to flower to flower…” You get the picture.

    Then what happened?” asked my mom one day, when she saw the notebook.

    I don’t know.”

    As you can see, my imagination was nonexistent or not yet discovered. I had no ability to invent stories but rather presented things as they were.

    But I was also a daydreamer. I mean here, the kind of fancy that yields no result. And my yearning? A taste of bubblegum flavoured ice cream. I missed the city.

    So, am I a realist or a daydreamer? Do I have to choose?

    In any case, books such as A Christmas Carol, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and many more classics played a huge role in discovering and stretching my imagination.

    And now that I live not far from Santa, I’ve not only seen reindeers but I eat their meat too, I’m submerged in snow for months (things I read about and imagined as a child), I acknowledge the power of imagination.

    Therefore, Keat’s quote above rings true. It even urged me to invent my own, ever since I swapped stilettos for hiking boots. But that’s a post for another day.

    The Fells of Lapland

    This post was inspired by a fellow blogger, Charles French. Please checkout his blog if you haven’t, and be stimulated by his exploration of writing and reading.