Archive for the 'Finland' Category

December 28, 2016

Conoscere un bosco come la propria casa, passeggiarci ogni giorno, notare i minimi cambiamenti quotidiani delle piante, osservare l’arrivo graduale di ciascuna stagione. Ecco, affezionarsi.

Profumo di aghi, di corteccia, di legna appena bruciata. Rumore dei miei passi, di qualche foglia secca che rotola sulla neve, di acqua che si risveglia sotto il ghiaccio, di rami che cigolano contro altri rami. Ogni tanto, un picchio al lavoro. Ogni tanto, una scossa sorda attraversa la superficie del lago ghiacciato. Poi il bosco risuona del latrato triste e cupo dei cani da slitta. I loro occhi ghiacciati trafiggono.

Centinaia di colonne altissime, dipinte con sfumature di marrone e grigio. Archi di giovani tronchi piegati a tutto sesto dalla neve. Pareti e nicchie affrescate di verde, volta a cielo annuvolato. Sul pavimento di neve morbida, fogli di corteccia trasparenti e fragili come carta velina. In tutte le stanze, profumo d’aghi e di legno.


December 28, 2016

University libraries are empty, at least in the sciences. Just study rooms for students, nothing more. And it’s not because “everything is online”. It’s because researchers systematically stay in their own field, methodically read the latest, incremental, self-referential improvements. They rarely try to pick up a textbook in a completely different discipline, to fish for connections and metaphors, to get inspiration from the unusual problems, language, and graphs. Few of them go back to read the classics,  the very foundations of their own field, to feel how their discipline looked like when it wasn’t understood. I like to dream that the next fundamental breakthrough in science will begin in a library.

Eero Järnefelt

December 26, 2016


November 15, 2016

My heart’s in the highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the highlands a-chasing the deer —
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the highlands, wherever i go.

Farewell to the highlands, farewell to the North —
The birthplace of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wonder, wherever i rove,
The hills of the highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the highlands a-chasing the deer —
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the highlands, wherever I go.

~ Robert Burns

October 9, 2016

“The whole world was made from nothing, so couldn’t at least one bran cake be made from it?” ~ Seitsemän veljestä

October 9, 2016

“It was a sunday morning. A pig was wallowing in a mud puddle in the bright summer sunshine, watching the people pass by on their way to church. Heart aching with envy, he gazed at the noble, beautiful form of the human beings, thinking of his own scruffy shape. Such a bright radiance beamed from the brow of a few passers-by that his own eyes were deflected, and he was furious with god for not making him a human being. When he had grumbled and complained his full, he stretched out his legs, closed his squinty little eyes, and fell asleep.
But when he awoke after some time, a man laid near him, a drunk who had fallen into the mud puddle and was about to choke on the muck. Sensing his danger, the pig pitied at him, gripped his collar with his sharp fangs, and dragged him to dry ground. Having done this merciful deed, he gazed at the man for a moment, gave an ugly sneer, and said: ‘You miserable man, you look so ugly that I can’t stand to look at you any longer’. Thus spoke the pig, walked grunting away, and began to root up the earth.”
~ Seitsemän veljestä

October 9, 2016

“Man was born a wanderer; he has no lasting rest here. He wanders, he is tossed to and fro a little while, and in the end, he sags and sinks down like a rat at the foot of a wall.”

“Mother rabbit said to Jussi-Rabbit: ‘Go your way, my little son, and always remember what I say: there’s a trap on every trail and a snare at every step’.”

~ Seitsemän veljestä

October 9, 2016

“… the poor man’s only pleasure, the hissing steam from a sauna stove.” ~ Seitsemän veljestä

October 9, 2016

“I have a plan. Let’s head for the woods. To hell with this jangling world. […] Far from the ways of the world and its ill-tempered people. That’s been my plan for many years.”

“… the dark sea of the wilderness looms all around.”

“… the solemn gloom of the northern swamps.”

“… a broad, calm, forested world shading into blue in the distance surrounded him, and the setting sun in the west shed a glow of russet and gold on the old bearded spruce on the ridge top.”

“… there in the glow of the fire and the twinkling of stars, they all rested, while around them the frost cracked in the dry spruce trees and the cold breeze sighed a dirge in the deep woods.”

~ Seitsemän veljestä

September 24, 2016

“I travelled through its silent and solemn forests, looking at the tracks of the wolves on the snow beneath, and listening to the crashes among the trees of the dense woods whose branches, bound together by icicles, were shaken by the stormy winds.” ~ John Bowring