This winter seems to be full of sideturns. A bit like when you are doing research and every now and then you have to pause and leave the main question aside for awhile to explore a side path or figure out a definition. It does not feel irrelevant or bad, quite the contrary, it feels like it is all somehow connected and it will become clear to me later how. And all the time I know I will be coming back to the main path, but things just take their own time and I seem to be lucky enough to be offered new side paths as soon as I’m done with the previous one. Like when you’re done with figuring out the definition, you come across another one on the next page and can’t wait to find out what it means. I could decide to ignore the side paths. I could decide to ignore the main path. But that is just not in me. I can’t wait to get back to photography. There are just so many other things that challenge me going on around me at the moment. I feel that it has take a long time for me to learn to embrace the moment and keep all the different things in life in their due proportion that I will enjoy this now and stay confident that there will be time for me to bond with my camera again so that I won’t have to ignore any of the side paths that intrigue me, and in the end will end up contributing to the whole. And don’t get me wrong, I do take photos all the time, but when you don’t go out just for that, it just isn’t the same thing.
I do feel fortunate to keep waking up to the thought of not exactly knowing what the day will bring. It requires a certain willingness to throw oneself to the stream, without the need to control everything around you. For us Finns it is said to be difficult. At the moment there is a heated debate going on in the newspapers about racism in Finland. A long ignored fact, which hopefully will be open for discussion from now on. We have very few immigrants who are expected to learn to live in the Finnish way in order to adjust. The same goes for Finns who are somehow different from the mainstream. I am immensely glad to see these issues brought up for discussion. I hope it will mean change. I hope Finns will become more tolerant and learn to embrace different lifestyles.
This year I have quite a few trips planned. In a few weeks I will take some students to visit a school in Sweden. In February we are going to meet international students in Toulouse France and in March there is going to be a school visit to Latvia. Our school does not finance any of these trips, they are funded by European Union and since our school’s emphasis is on global education and our principal wants us to be international we have eagerly applied for all different kinds of funding. All these projects require lots of planning and lots of work that we do with the students all year long. And as you can imagine it is a lot of fun and it gives so much more to the students than classroom learning could ever do.
In all this whirlwind that is going around me I have one promise to make for the upcoming year. I will try to stay organized and productive, and focus on the moment. Being away so much has its pitfalls, and trying to avoid those will be my main challenge for 2013. In the end it is just about the way you see it and how you decide to approach it.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Happy New Year!