Larin Paraske Artist: Edelfelt 1893
Larin Paraske Artist: Edelfelt 1893

Attila and I like art. The screen saver I have setup shows a series of art images collected over time. We enjoy letting our eyes rest on these images, as we pause to gather thoughts during our easy chair chats. This image is one that I particularly like, from Finland, by the artist Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt.

The weather is amazing! Since we have lived here, the winter has lingered all through March, long past the first official day of spring. Here we are, a week before spring officially arrives and the breezes are gentle and warm and the snow melting, melting, melting.

I know winter will make a reappearance. Still, it is so wonderful to see the sun and bits of the earth begin to emerge from under winter’s mantle of white.

Attila is out splitting firewood, as heat is still needed. The firings are small now, and less and less frequent as the temperatures remain in the double digits.

Seasonal residents are beginning to arrive. Their vehicles give them away. New Lexus, Mercedes, Cadillac, BMW and many more. The vehicles that cost more than our little house in the city are beginning to dominate the roads once more. The drivers also bring a different style of driving into the mix. Speeding is common, impatient tailgating is common and passing in dangerous conditions is a regular occurrence. One must keep one’s wits about them and adjust quickly to the seasonal road conditions. Thank goodness the cyclists haven’t arrived yet; although we did encounter one in a parka and balaclava last month. The cyclist was travelling well below the speed limit, in the middle of the lane as the snow banks and ice made it impossible to keep to the right of the lane. Some people sky dive, others cycle on icy, winding, two-lane high-speed highways. To each their own.

My interest in the bodhran has been renewed. Playing with people is incomparable. When asked, during the sharing circle, if I wanted to play a piece on my own, I declined. I don’t want to play by myself, or be centre stage. I want to play with people, partake of shared energy. There really isn’t anything else like it! I feel pleasure just writing about it!

Worldly Distractions


5 °C
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 4.5°C
Dewpoint: 1.6°C
Humidity: 81 %
Wind: WNW 13 km/h


“The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power.”
Ninon de Lenclos
1620 – 1705


Larin Pareske

“Larin Paraske (December 27, 1833–January 3, 1904) was an Izhorian oral poet. She is considered a key figure in Finnish folk poetry and has been called the “Finnish Mnemosyne”. Her frequent listeners included several romantic nationalist artists, such as Jean Sibelius, seeking inspiration from her interpretations of Kalevala, an epic poem compiled from Finnish folklore by Elias Lönnrot.
Paraske could recite over 32,000 verses of poetry, which made her an important source for Karelian culture. Her poems were written down by Adolf Neovius in the 1880s, and after several years of work, approximately 1200 poems, 1750 proverbs and 336 riddles were documented, along with several Finnic lamentations known as itkuvirsi, performed by crying and sobbing.
In 1936, sculptor Alpo Sailo created a statue of Paraske. It was planned for the Kalevala building, which however never realized, so the statue was erected in 1949 in the Hakasalmi park, off Mannerheimintie, in Helsinki. A street named after Paraske is located in Kaarela, a district of Helsinki. In 2004, Paraske placed 87th on Suuret suomalaiset, a vote arranged by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, to determine the “100 greatest Finns”. Paraske is also one of the people on stamps of Finland…

Despite her success, she remained poor. Her house was sold during the summer of 1899 due to tax arrears, and she had to move into her neighbour’s sauna. The Finnish Literature Society granted Paraske an artist’s pension in 1901, but she was unable to overcome her financial problems. She died destitute in Sakkola in 1904.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larin_Paraske