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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Night­ti­me thoughts

Vieraskieliset / In-english
19.11.2019 6.25

Juttua muokattu:

23.12. 02:44

When I was yo­ung, I would have slept even if the world had col­lap­sed around me. Ÿuan Mei, a Chi­ne­se poet who li­ved in the 18th cen­tu­ry, wrote: ”...but then I re­mem­ber my yo­uth, I re­mem­ber my sno­ring was loud like thun­der and I slept my mor­nings like struck by a light­ning.” But age chan­ges things. When you feel stres­sed, you ea­si­ly wake up in the ear­ly hours and be­gin to turn over in yo­ur mind all kinds of troub­ling thoughts.

I re­cent­ly read in the news that 1.2 mil­li­on Fin­nish pe­op­le live alo­ne. Ma­y­be so­me­o­ne el­se is awa­ke with me. But that is not much of com­fort. Life in all its nu­an­ces is uni­que to each of us. Es­pe­ci­al­ly du­ring the night, with the da­y­ti­me sounds and sights mis­sing, eve­ryt­hing may seem inc­re­dib­ly dif­fi­cult. It seems like a big rock is han­ging abo­ve my head, full of wor­ries, fee­lings of guilt, fai­lu­res, neg­li­gen­ce, dep­res­si­on and thre­ats. Co­lors di­sap­pe­ar. The fu­tu­re seems de­so­la­te. My past life ap­pe­ars vi­vid and cle­ar­ly de­fi­ned, as if I were stan­ding in a night­ma­rish court­room.

I feel I have fai­led in just about eve­ryt­hing. When I re­al­ly re­vel in my som­ber thoughts, I feel swal­lo­wed up in­to tra­gi­co­mic chaos. In my li­fe­ti­me I have ac­cep­ted many dif­fe­rent tasks and strug­g­led hard to ac­comp­lish them, but now I feel a comp­le­te fai­lu­re. Even the de­aths of close re­la­ti­ves and pets seem due to my inep­ti­tu­de. I even feel sor­ry that, li­ving sing­le, I have not been ab­le to give my pa­rents the joy of ha­ving grandc­hild­ren.

And I wor­ry about fi­nan­ci­al mat­ters. I have li­ved wit­hout any big plan and will have lo­ans to pay back un­til I die. And there will not be enough mo­ney for my fu­ne­ral be­fo­re so­me­o­ne first sel­ls my apart­ment and my be­lon­gings. And who would do that? There is no way I could desc­ri­be my­self as a RICH old maid?

And what about when my con­di­ti­on furt­her de­te­ri­o­ra­tes? When I no lon­ger hear or see, my sen­ses fail, and I can­not even walk pro­per­ly any more. I had a fo­re­tas­te of this at the sum­mer ser­vi­ces: as soon as I ar­ri­ved, I stumb­led on a fi­xing rope of the big tent. When we were yo­ung, we ran around the tents, jum­ping over the ro­pes like kan­ga­roos – now I can hard­ly lift my leg high enough.

There are more things to do than I will ever have the strength for. My old home in the count­ry has til­ting floors that should be fi­xed. My late mot­her’s wheel wal­ker al­re­a­dy rol­led to the ot­her side of the room on its own. Paints are pee­ling. The sau­na wall is so soft that you could punch a hole in it with yo­ur fist. Oh dear! I could say like the el­der­ly sis­ter who had come, af­ter a long time, to see her home, which used to be a tall, hand­so­me buil­ding. She had stood in the mid­d­le of the yard, loo­king at the run-down old hou­se and said, quo­ting a song of zion: ”…will lose their lus­ter, break and fade. You can­not take them to the grave.”

But my dee­pest grief can­not be put in­to words. The pain that so many of my dear ones live wit­hout the se­cu­ri­ty of faith. It is best to get up and just look out of the win­dow. The world is still there, unc­han­ged, the night sky, the stars, and the first shim­me­ring light of dawn. I still have enough of yes­ter­day’s faith left to help me get star­ted: "Dear God, help!" ”Help me and the Lit­hu­a­ni­an old lady!” I got this mes­sa­ge from a friend who was vi­si­ting a church in Vil­nius and saw an old lady sit­ting hunc­hed in the pew.

The points of the com­pass are there and will ne­ver chan­ge. If this were a late win­ter night, I would see the Ori­on cons­tel­la­ti­on in its ma­jes­tic be­au­ty in the south, di­a­go­nal­ly cros­sed by a straight line of three stars, Ori­on’s Belt. And un­der­ne­ath the Belt the Ori­on ne­bu­la, ”the win­dow in­to the glory of he­a­ven”, as it used to be cal­led by old pe­op­le. But no, it is not the real win­dow in­to the glory of he­a­ven. That win­dow is qui­te near, here on earth.

In the mor­ning the world seems nor­mal. The som­ber fa­ta­li­ty of the night has fa­ded away. A bee­ping gar­ba­ge truck re­ver­ses in­to the neigh­bo­ring yard. Com­mu­ter traf­fic is inc­re­a­sing. My cof­fee ma­ker gurg­les. It is nice to open the mor­ning pa­per: the po­li­ti­cal si­tu­a­ti­on is int­ri­guing. As are many ot­her things. In the night I would not have be­lie­ved I could ever find them the le­ast bit in­te­res­ting.

Text: Tuu­la Stång

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal fin­nish blog post here.


Mut­ta sinä tah­dot si­sim­pää­ni to­tuu­den - il­moi­ta siis mi­nul­le vii­sau­te­si! Ps. 51:8

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