On Fears and Overcoming

IMG_2145_wwwIt’s another cold autumn day. The gorgeous colors are still here but the temperatures are going down so quickly that I had to go through the closets to find my gloves. After school my sons and I find refuge by the fire place, adoring the flames on the sun dried birch logs. Sometimes this time of the year makes me feel like a mom cat with kittens. And I can’t stop wondering how those two who are always on the go, curl up next to me and are all prepared to do nothing for the whole evening. Just two weeks ago I wasn’t able to convince them to wear shoes or to stay put even for half an hour. And now we are gradually entering the hibernation mode.

My youngest goddaughter had her first birthday on Saturday. She had just learned how to walk and how to use the spoon. Suddenly a baby had turned into a toddler. There is something most captivating in the wobbly first steps and the persistence in practice. The urge to discover and conquer, to learn and to challenge yourself. IMG_2183_wwwJust a few weeks ago my son announced that he had learned to read. I have never before seen him so happy in relief. It was his greatest fear that he would never learn how to read, and there was no way of convincing him otherwise. He has been practicing all autumn ever since he started the first grade and books have always been his greatest passion. Now that the clog has been removed there is no end to spelling. Road signs, cereal boxes, t-shirts and caps. Joy of learning like fireworks in the sky.

IMG_2197_wwwOn the way to my goddaughter’s party I heard a fascinating interview on the radio. It was one of the most famous authors in Finland, called Tuomas Kyrö, who was interviewed about writing and being a writer. The interviewer asked him what inspires him the most to writing. He burst out in heartfelt laughter and said that inspiration is a myth. That nothing comes to anyone without hard work. In order to write a novel, one has to write and write and write. And then gradually the story starts to take form. For him, just to sit and wait for an inspiration would be ludicrous and a waste of time. I have to agree. And isn’t that the most comforting thought as well?

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9 thoughts on “On Fears and Overcoming

  1. Very nice to know about great satisfaction you had in your family! Yes, autumn is a beautiful season but has some strange consequences on our lives! I like the idea of inspiration as a myth ! Work, work, and than work again!
    robert
    PS: excellent B&W, brava!

  2. Learning to read and have confidence in your reading is one of the greatest, if not greatest, personal achievements. At some time later your son will have choose what to read – another challenge itself!

  3. fictional100 says:

    What a delightful piece, Annika! Your way of telling the special moments of life is so like your photos–the perfect detail in focus and a little sparkle!

    Happy reading to your son, and happy toddling to your god-daughter! Also appreciated the very genuine comfort of the Finnish author’s wisdom on writing.
    ~lucy

  4. Dear Annika,
    This is a beautiful and moving post, from you and your growing kitten curled up by the fire to the relief and joy felt by your son upon learning to read. Another season come and gone, and a new one to welcome head on.

  5. Oh, Annika, this is a beautiful post. You have distilled life to a point in time and then reveled in it. It’s a conversation you would have with a close personal friend and I am touched.

    Your last photo focuses on a leaf, with wings spread into a soar, like a dark bird. I love that one.

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