The Sun Stands Still,
The day is 21 hours and 42 minutes long at Mustarinda. The subsolar point is at the Tropic of Cancer, latitude 23.44° north. It's the longest day of the year. In six months this place is covered with snow and the sun hardly rises over the tree tops cross the yard. Everything green will be sleeping and there is silence. I've experienced the change 34 times, but still find it impossible to imagine, the contrast is strong.
I'm making a trip to the Paljakka Nature Reserve. The entrance to the only path within the protected area is 25 km by bike across the hilly landscape. Downhills are great, uphills a lot of work. The experience of the landscape is rather different than on a motorcycle, or on any of the vehicles powered by a combustion engine. Now the observer is the engine. The amount of work and the speed alters constantly according to topography. Energy, the ability to perform work, becomes very concrete. The external power flattens these variables, the speed is rather constant and the experience of the relation between the landscape and the physical work almost disappears.
In dance and performance-practices the concept of energy is used in multiple ways and quite often it is hard to grasp what is the actual signification or the content of the word. Obviously it's not used only in the sense defined by the natural sciences, but has other meanings. Especially in the practices which are applying knowledge and forms of eastern philosophies and traditions of movement the concept of energy is often irreconcilable with how it appears in the language of modern physics. Maybe one way of defining the concept is to understand it as the passage of information and energy (as defined in physics) within a system organizing itself in a certain way. Then it doesn't refer to the quantity but to the movement.
Anyhow, to install the mass of my body on two wheels and to roll downhill creates joy. The form of energy transforms from potential to actual. Biking is one way of negotiating with the planet and channeling the energy within and surrounding oneself. The relation to gravity, landscape, weather, energy and work is direct, and the mover is relatively independent from the fossil-economy and also the schedules of public transport.
The path is approximately 6km long and rises up to 370 m above the sea level at Holstinvaara. It's already evening and the light is creating beautiful contrasts in the forest. Temperature is still around 20 C°, which makes a perfect condition to walk and wonder. Here by some photos from the way:
Staying overnight in a day hut by the lake next to the reserve. After the evening swim two swans appear on the lake near by the shore, moving in unison. They are obviously curious and we have a simple conversation in a form of call and response – basically I imitate their sound and it seems to work.
A swim. Exercises on the lake shore. Morning porridge. Walk. Biking back. Last 2km include the most steep official road section in the country. It's a killer, but the view on the top rewards the effort.