These are pictures I took over the two weeks I spent in Finland late in July. I spent a lot of time by the sea, and had planned on making this post about the arctic seascapes. But, as it sometimes happens, something changed when the pictures traveled from the camera to the computer. What a month ago looked beautiful and captured the feeling of the moment perfectly, now just looks like an ordinary picture of an ordinary rock.
Nothing here is special in photographic sense. These are snapshots of what might have been the last, golden summer I’ll ever spend at home, many so personal I couldn’t share them with anyone yet.
Once long ago, my father lived here. Now this big, beautiful house is empty and unused, and it makes me rather sad – such glorious building. (This and the rest of vertically oriented photos have been scaled to the column margins – click the photo for original resolution.)
This is the last photo I took in Finland, and it’s far from perfect, but the memory of that evening is much treasured. The bond I have with my hometown – a plain, unexciting industrial town in the north, not small but not a big city either – is probably more imaginary than it is real. I have been gone for a long time, and probably wouldn’t keep going back if it wasn’t for my family; I rarely miss this place when I’m gone. My childhood was fairly urban. We lived near town centre when I was a kid, and my walk to school took me across heavily trafficked roads, through estates of 1950s apartment blocks and over a bridge perched above the churning waters passing through the hydroelectric power station. I always walked with a friend, and we would see the odd suicide candidate or a flasher, and still somehow lived to tell the tale – kids these days, they have no idea. I miss the water – the clean, shining brackish water of the Ostrobotnian gulf and the tender, warm waters of the lakes and ponds we used to swim in – and I miss the snow, the kind of snow what never falls here, damp and heavy when it first falls, crisp and sparkly after it has frozen. And the autumn! The glorious autumn!