Far North From Reality,
For few nightless days, I visited Hiljaisuus (silence) -festival at Kaukonen village nearby Kittilä, which is 350 more km northward from Mustarinda. I was invited by Sanna Hast from The Northern Association of Philosophy AGON to host visitors at floating Sauna on Ounasjoki-river. Ounasjoki is the biggest of remaining free running rivers in Finland. The concept was to facilitate one-on-one philosophical or contemplative conversations in a sauna floating on a river in the Arctic region. The hosts are philosophers (except myself) with different focuses in their practice. In this frame we are titled as the Oracles of Ounasjoki.
The summer storm Salomo is over the north of Finland. At Mustarinda the weather changes constantly, at 3 pm just when we are crossing the yard to take our stuff to the car a storm wind with snow rises. Earlier in the morning I did my daily practice outside in the sun shine. Already then I could sense the confusion of the winds in the atmosphere and the gathering of momentum. In the practice I focused on grounding exercises and from there moved towards spirals. Mustarinda was close to the center of the coming storm, a kind of rotation point.
It had snowed early in the morning, I woke up in Rovaniemi in a house of a friend of a friend of a friend. Inari played songs from Guinea with kora, a 21-string lute-bridge-harp after breakfast before heading to the railway station to wait for a car ride to Kaukonen village. On the previous evening I had talked with Inari about rhythms, colors and how it is to follow from close by seasons changing. I found out she has lived her life in different places, such as Namibia, Vietnam, England and moved recently to north of Finland.
She had seen a dream during night in which she draw a calendar for me. In the first square marking a day there was face of a person who could not not be defined as a man or a woman, a kind of androgynous figure. In the second square there was a small building with a tiny entrance and people were queuing in front since it was hard to get in, but from the back of the building a crowd of people was streaming out freely. In the third box there were two signs: Scorpio and Pisces.
At Kaukonen, the wind is still too strong to enter the floating sauna. We gather around the fireplace and enter into conversation about happiness, nature of philosophy, money and reindeer farming among other subjects. In the evening there is two short films by Finnish director Elina Oikarinen and her collaborators.
In the night sun won't descend below the horizon. The sky is broken by the storm and the north wind is driving the remaining fragments of clouds in many layers and in differing speeds. I try to comprehend what I see and experience in relation to satellite images of the form and movement of the storm, but having hard time with the scale of the thing. It seems to me that the event is comprehending me rather than another way around. I am in the midst of it, constituting a tiny part of what is taking place rather than comprehending the wholeness of it. Breathing this air moving seems to be enough, a sensible relation.
I receive three guests during the day. A poet, a composer and a carpenter. We talk about poetics in different forms of art, the corporeality and the communication in reciting poetry, music, india, the etymology of the word yoga, wood, craftsmanship, collecting food directly from the nature, and so on.
Sauna has always been a holy site in the Finnish culture with many meanings and functions. People were born there and after dying bodies were washed in the sauna and prepared for the funeral. It has been a place of cleansing and recreation of the whole being. A place of ritual and gathering. The settlers of new territories quite often build the sauna first and lived there until the house was build.
After the work day I visited the home and the workshop of Kalervo Palsa (1947-87), a Finnish painter and controversial character from Kittilä.