I promised you the ring story a good while ago, and here it comes: Way back (like, several years ago) when I was getting married, I said to J that I would like to have a silver ring with a mother-of-pearl inlay. He asked around and no one agreed to make us one, and I think someone actually said it couldn't be done. So J got me another kind of ring and we got married and then three years later divorced. (He's still an amazing guy and a good friend, so I guess I didn't break his heart too badly.) After living on my own for a while I met V and told him straight that I'm not planning to get married again, at least not any time soon. We've been traveling back and forth between cities, missed each other, enjoyed the time alone... You get the picture. Now I'm moving in with him and saying bye bye to my noisy home high up above the parking lot and hello to his sweet first-floor cave by the park and everything feels right. And I'm still not planning to get married. But when I found my ring on Etsy, made by the incredibly talented and sweet Meital, I knew it was made for me. I told V I would marry myself with that ring just because I can't divorce myself and damn that ring was perfect for me. So, I got married with myself at Bossaliina while eating tasty tomato soup and chatting with a strange lady who soon noticed the lack of the local dialect in my speech and etc.... An end of an era, somehow. It didn't feel like I finally got the wedding ring I was supposed to have before, it felt like finally having something I should've had ages ago. And it was just too good to be a simple coincidence, Meital said the ring had been waiting for me for a year in her shop.
I only wear silver, never gold. I've always loved mother-of-pearl; now it reminds me of my mother and her mother (who says "pärlemor" in Swedish) and all the women in my family line (like Saima, of whom I often write about). Already as a child I played with mother-of-pearl buttons and buckles that had been passed through at least a couple of generations, and I still play with the same things, and I gather a collection around them so that when I'm gone there will be something beautiful left behind. I like how seeing the ring makes me think of happy thoughts. One edge of the mother-of-pearl inlay has a pattern like tears; this is me, happy and crying. And this is me and my family. And this is me, whom I cannot leave.
The ladies in the photos are not my family, but they do look strangely familiar. I was going through every antique shop in Turku with V when he got an interview request and all of a sudden I needed to become a newspaper photographer so that the interview and book critique could be accompanied by an artsy poet photo. The photos were my reward for the job. I love picking out my favourite girls from huge stacks of cabinet portraits, there's something magical in it. I tend to choose women who look alike, men who look either handsome or quirky or boys who look simply awkward. Young girls aren't that interesting for some reason, maybe it's because they're often so doll-like and it's hard to imagine what they were like in real life. I do like imagining.
I might just as well tell you another story now that I'm on a roll, I promise I won't stay this wordy in the future. When I started studying English at the age of 9 everyone in the class was given an English name that was somehow alike their Finnish name. So my English class name was Kate. And somewhere up north from where I lived there was this guy who was named William in his class. Next week we happen to be in town when the other William and Kate are having their little party. I swear it's a coincidence! I had no idea until just a couple of days ago, I'm so off the map with what's going on in the world. Like Easter and May Day and all the other stuff that happens every years.
That's all for now.
Sleepless in Finland