I have been discussing war. I have decided to have my mind set for the worst, which is by no means hypothetical at the moment. It is amazing what one discovers in oneself in a situation like this. Suddenly things are not as clear cut as they seem to someone out of the corner.
Living with a big brother who has a temper is not always easy. One must refrain from thoughtless commentary or hint of disrespect. Neither of which has been done in the recent years. It is of course a matter of moral decision. Do I interfere and let the bully see how wrong he is or shall I just be quiet and pray not to be seen? This has always been the case for us. My grandfather who will be 99 next month fought in the front line. And here we are again. Not to mention the smaller states in between who have had it even worse. There are new garrisons being built next to our border. Nobody talks about it but it is all we read about. There is nothing for us to do except wait and see, everyone figuring out the best solution for themselves. I find myself wondering whether I should worry about leaving or staying.
Just two weeks ago I saw a documentary on TV about a Finnish painter Aino von Boem. I was fascinated by her work and the amazing quality of the documentary, and finally greatly touched by her fate when she coincidentally died in an elevator after visiting a relative on the first day of Winter War. The war started with an unexpected bombing of Helsinki, a fleet of planes rolling maliciously over our beautiful capital city, bombs tearing down the walls off the old apartment buildings, pealing the skin off of the peaceful homes leaving them open, bare and viciously violated, and in all its horror murdering innocent civilians, like this incredibly talented artist Aino von Boem who was full of creative energy, looking forward to her future. Aino’s son, another famous Finnish painter Tuomas von Boem, who was 23 at the time when the war broke out, kept looking for his mother for years after the bombing and lovingly preserved her work for the future generations. One of the most beautiful works by Aino von Boehm is a mural in SYK (Helsingin suomalainen yhteiskoulu) which is one of the most prestigious schools in Finland.
When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is check the news. When ever I hear an airplane it makes me think of a bomber fleet emerging from behind the tree tops. We’re just 200 km from the border.