Capturing light of Mother Gaia in everyday madness

It’s been 8 months since I have written anything to this blog. It has been a time of personal growth for me in all areas of life. For now, life has granted me a period of relative peace, so I have some time to have conversations with myself.

Yesterday was the last day of the year 2011. I woke up very early to catch the sunrise. Photography is a very dear hobby to me and especially photographing Mother Earth as she is. That is what I am trying to do in my photos. I have invested a lot of time and money in 3 years for equipment, read and researched the subject only to find out, that much of it is nonsense. Once again I was reminded by the necessity of us humans to “know everything” about everything. I do not deny that certain technical knowledge plays a role in any area of art but I do also think that in much of time, this is the very thing that kills the spirit and heart of the very thing that it was supposed to help. I have seen amazing photos taken by people who have 5% knowledge of photgraphy and I have seen lifeless and mechanical photos taken by professionals who know everything about the science of photography. By the way, did you know that the Greek word “photo” means “light”? Photography means “capturing light” or “writing light”.

Yesterday was also one of the New Year traditions. People start exploding their bombs and rockets and wish each other’s happy new year. That is preceeded by the XMas time, another powerful tradition. That is when everyone is supposed to quiet down and be happy and joyful. XMas is presented by Christians as the birthday of Jesus Christ but if you dig a bit deeper than that, you will find that this tradition is deeply pagan. Xmas has nothing to do with Jesus Christ.It has everything to do with consuming and economy. But a very little seems to be left of that “spirit of XMas” that perhaps, regardless of religions and other nonsense, brought some peace to the hearts of human beings. Now before the 24th, all you find is a massive machinery of this and that and thousands of extremely frustrated and angry people that “have to” buy gifts to their “loved ones”. I am in the opinion that these rituals that we have year in and year out are just there to preserve something so we would not change. If I tell these opinions (and as you remember, in democracy, an opinion can be voiced) to someone who has the opposite view from mine, I usually get a furious response while my response to the person’s views is tolerant. This is a very interesting response. It is called “conditioned response” and that makes life sometimes extremely predictable. Sad as it is, most of us are like this. Condition to respond like programmed. And most of us are programmed by our parents, school, military, church and society. Very few of us have thoughts and ideas that are genuienly our own. But we hold on to our traditions like a lifeboat of Titanic. Which I happen to think is exactly where we are as mankind. Why do I have so “pessimistic” view on traditions? Only because of one thing: they make us blind. To everything.

So I woke up early, made coffee and prepared myself to capture some light of a piece of earth near Helsinki. I go there often and sometimes I am very lucky with the view of the landscape. As I was driving towards the shore at 8 in the morning, I saw a marvellous beautiful sunrise with blue and pinkish tint to it. Clouds looked nice and their shape was perfect. I was marvelling the beauty of the sky as I arrived to a road that leads to the shore. It is lined up with tall pine trees, almost like a long corridor. The first thing what I noticed when I arrived was that the waterlevel was about 10 meters higher than usually. And usually in December in Helsinki there is snow and sub zero temperatures. It was impossible to go to the places where I “normally go” so I had to find patches of land and jump over water, getting my shoes wet, but that doesn’t bother me. In other words, nature forced me to go to different places than I had been before in the same place. Or was it nature that forced me or mankind?

Durban Climate Conference was held in Durban in this November/December. The results have been praised but when one examines the results (and you would want to know what’s happening if you are on Titanic I presume), the whole conference is just a repetition of the old agendas and political writing in another form. The actual results mean nothing to the climate change that is happening. It took the leading economist of the world to “wake up” George Bush and now Barack Obama to the climate change. But all I see from ever single country in the conference is the will to cover their own benefits. These are the people who decide our future. Their decisions or non decisions have a profound influence to the life of billions of people. And most people don’t know about these facts. We human beings have established a system called society and countries and that system is about to collapse in all levels. Jared Thompson has an excellent book called “Why societies collapse?”. I read it years ago but I remember it was very good. The reasons are rational but we are not. Although we have seen some activity against the governments that glue the societies and its so called “principles” and “morals” together, a whole lot more would need to be done so this Titanic where we all are on board would actually miss the iceberg.
Will it miss the iceberg in my opinion? More of that in the later blogs.

-Timo

Insomnia and Love

Could these be connected? Why can’t I sleep even with sleeping pills? Is my body so strong that it ignores this vital mechanism in me? It is for sure that if I cannot sleep then something is wrong in my life? Is it any wonder these days in the world I might ask. People are so tired and stressed out. Angry. Here in Scandinavia the summer is coming. In Latin America winter. Yet one thing makes us common. We are all human beings living on this beautiful planet.
Why are we here in the first place? What is the reason? Ok, I can go to the basics. I organize my life. It is in perfect order. Not. Nobody’s life is in perfect order. Least of them mine. It is a chaotic mess. Yesterday I made some coffee and forgot to put water to the machine. The other day I was looking for a watch and I don’t own one. Am I getting old? I am 45 years old and I cannot sleep. Tonight. I tell you what it is.
I am a human being and you are a human being. I wave my hand and something happens in you. You cannot stop this something happening because it is automatic. We humans have inevitable influence on each others. You can imagine the magnitude how mankind affects to each others with just “hand wavings”. If I shoot 2 year old baby in the head, how does that affect to the world? Does it make 10 meter Tsunami to the East Coast of the USA? If I gas to death 1 million people because I can’t draw, what do you think it does to the collective soul of the humankind? I tell you what it does. It makes us to pay an invoice. And that invoice is cashed in right this very moment around the world.
It has begun. What has begun? This is up to you to find out. I can only guess, I am just Timo after all. A guitar player on an insigficant planet called Terra. But although I am insgnificant, tonight I cannot sleep. I am worried about my friend. And then you do not sleep. I know that worry doesnt help. But what can I do? I am an artist. And that means I feel. No Im sorry, I FEEL. And then makes me kneel and being humble.
How many truly genuinely humble people you know? I know. The answer is shocking.

I include a small video I just recorded from my balcony. Once again it is 5:39 in the morning and I cannot sleep. The birds are singing. The nature is perfect. I sit here and wonder its everlasting beauty and understand how fucked up I am. But goddammit, at least I feel.
Please carry each others with Love. We dont have much time 😦

-Timo

The Streets of Venice

After hectic day in Venice full of life and laughter I return to my hotel and relax a bit.
It is midnight as I hear the bells of the Cathedral of Saint Mark and they seduce me for a
nightly stroll. I cannot resist the temptation so with a Pepsi and camera in my hand I set out
on my nightly journey to see how Venice looks this Sabbath night. Listening to Hans Zimmer’s
“Last Samurai” Soundtrack on my iPod I start my walk into the night.

I reach San Marco’s square. It is 01:11 at night. Just 7 hours before there was maybe 50 000 people
on this square. Now there are three plus me. And 2 dogs that are playing.
I stand in front of majestic church of San Marco or Saint Mark as we Lutherans have come to know him.
One of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ. Earlier I attended, out of morbid curiosity since I do not subscribe
to any religion, to a Catholic Mass in this very same church. The entrance to the church was only through
a Basilika and cost 4 euros. This took me through a souvenir shop that sold everything from Jesus key holders
to Coke. I did not find digital Jesus although I would have loved to have one. I cannot help but to think what
Jesus himself would think about all this nonsense that I see in here. It makes me almost physically sick.
I enter the majestic Cathedral where the mass is taking place. No photos it says. Hmm interesting. The mass is
a ritual that follows a strict routine. It has a clear reasoning for its sake and I am wondering what that reasoning
might be. Thousands of years man has built great monuments to “glorify God”. This is one of them. People sit and
stand up as the priest is reading from his holy book. I don’t pay much attention to what he is saying, largely because
my Italian is limited to words I could not use in the church. Suddenly a dejavu comes to me. I was 14 years old when I
played Toccata and Fugue in D minor, the saddest of all keys, in a church in Klaukkala where I grew up. I played it with
electric guitar and amplifier. I wonder if they would let me play here. I doubt.

I leave in the middle of the mass and wander upstairs encountering several guards that look extremely pissed off. They don’t
have guns though. I manage to take a picture and wonder if I would be burnt at the stake or if I should have a stake if I would
get caught.

All the fancy cathedrals in Venice. And in Paris. And you name it. What for is the question that comes to my mind when I am strolling
through the streets of Venice in the dark night. There is nobody here, only me, my camera and Leonardo Da Vinci Code.

They say that God is in these churches. I must envy these people who know this. I did not find a trace of life, laughter or joy in any of the
churches I visited today. Not in Saint Mark’s, not in Santa Maria’s. Not in Notre Dame few weeks ago in Paris.

They leave me cold with their fancy architechture and symbols and they force me to ask a question: if there is God, is he really hidden
inside these cold walls? Or could it be that she is in the laughter of a birthday party that was laughing so hard that it made the whole restaurant laugh. Or could it be that he is in those 2 dogs that play at Saint Mark’s square at 2 AM?

Where is God. Did we kill him like Nietsche proposed? Looking at this world in this moment, I am very sad to say that unfortunately it
really seems so.

I head back to the hotel looking at amazing night sky. I pass the 2 lions that guard the San Marco’s cathedral and head towards the hotel.
The receptionist welcomes me with a smile and hands me a leaflet “Shadows of Venice”. Little he knows about my trip and what I am
thinking. But he is kind and smiling. And he has more life in his smile than my whole 2 hour trip. Now that is something to think about.

Love and Peace, Timo

Road Less Travelled-Divinity in everyday life or just being?

It’s 6.10 in the morning. I like to wake up early and go for a walk always taking a camera with me if possible. I am lucky to live in a place that has a forest and water very close to me and these are the things I really do not take for granted. Or do I?
After closing the door behind me I am already facing a first choice: if I take the elevator or if I walk down. I take the elevator. I continue and open the door outside where fresh morning air and rising sun greets me with a nice view. I live in a place that, loosely translated, means “Wuthering heights” in Finnish. It is always very windy here and yet in this morning for some reason the winds are not very strong but strong enough for them to show me who is the boss.

I continue my morning walk. Nobody is awake. This is my favourite time of the day. Undisturbed and just for me. No phonecalls or emails. Just silence.

I’m planning to go to a place where I normally never go in winter. It is a place where many of my ideas in the last 6 years have been born. It is a place surrounded by trees, a rock to sit and a sea view. But now is March and this winter has been extremely heavy in Finland. The temperatures have varied from +5 to -30 Celsius from where I live (do the conversion yourself please) and in most places, even in Helsinki, we have snow cover of over 1 meter. This I saw last time when I was 6 years old, so long time ago.

I continue to the forest and I notice a path that other people have walked. It is tiny, only about 25 cm wide and that makes it hard to stay on that path. It is also slippery. Many times I almost fall and having somewhat scruffy looks with a camera in my hand at 7 in the morning I probably look like an idiot. Would make a good comedy act probably.
I walk the path and I look around and I am surrounded by magnificient trees, snow and different kind of rocks. In other words, by nature. I feel strong wind and it, I can’t poetically say caresses, greets me with its power and blows me off the path to the snow next to the path. I sink and struggle to get back to the path and find it very difficult. I’m stuck. Me, 45 years old man, I am stuck in a snow in a forest in Finland. Now that is something to think about.

I struggle for a while and then I have no other choice but to continue to walk in the snow. It is extremely difficult. It’s nothing like the small path I was walking just 10 minutes ago. This is a heavy path. But wait. It does feel hard but it also feels more solid and yet difficult. With each step my foot sinks into the snow and I go forward a bit. Suddenly I realize I am making a new path to myself. It is truly an enlightening feeling. There is something familiar in that feeling. Something I have forgotten. How it was to play in the snow when I was a boy of 8 years and not very far from here actually. The joy of simple things. The mystery of the snow. The details in every snowflake. They are beautiful.

I finally reach my destination and take some pictures, pause for a moment watching the horizon where sun is just rising offering amazing view that no Blue Ray disc can capture. I can feel the power of the nature here and it is very strong and it makes me humble. All these huge old trees.
I start going back following the safe narrow path and I reach my home and open the door to a corridor. Again I am facing many of my daily choices: if I take the elevator or if I walk the stairs. Again I take the elevator. In the meantime I left this laptop I am using to type this, to do some tasks which it has completed with precision.

I take a shower, grab a cup of coffee and start writing this blog that I enjoy doing from time to time. I write without any particular aim or message. If there is any, it probably is found somewhere buried in the text because this is just stream of consciousness.
In the shower while water keeps running over my body I suddenly realize how many things in my life I take for granted. It is truly amazing. Almost everything. It is a frightening thought but it is true. All this while taking a simple shower. And yet they say we have 50 000 thoughts per day. I had maybe 100 today and I don’t remember them. I only remember that I am in the shower and having these thoughts.
Finally I am tempted to take my favourite book called “ Road less traveled” which I really love. It has a poem that finishes this better than I could ever say or write. It was written by a poet named Robert Frost. Thanks for reading this!

-Timo

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Tragedy of Japan

  • It is 13:34PM 17.3.2011
  • Im looking at the icy Gulf of Finland through my window. Feeling at the same time
  • very detached due to the scenery, I am also very much concerned about the situation in Japan.
  • I have been there 18 times during my life and I have come to know Japan and its ancient
  • traditions very well.
  • The ancient code of the Samurai’s ” Bushido” also known as “The Way of the Warrior” is a principle
  • that most people perhaps could find useful but it is not really followed by anyone. Perhaps its utopistic.
  • Money and industry in generally is the one that rules the whole system, it seems. Unfortunately.
  • Having written songs about this,love,peace,death and life in general for almost 20 years, I feel very
  • bad when I look at the horrible pictures that come from Japan.
  • This is a catastrophy in the magnitude mankind has not seen before and yet why do I have the idea
  • that people find the horrifiying scenes from TV very unreal? Like from a hollywood film we all have
  • seen so many times.
  • But what is happening now is very real and having been in Japan so many times I have to say that
  • this really makes me think.

Dont you think that it should make everyone think? Because I do. I really do.