January 14, 2020
It's seriously scary how quickly life is passing. I'm such a chicken. I started my challenges five days ago, but these posts here haven't gone live. Five days ago I told myself:
"I'll do seven days of diary entries and if I actually keep making these posts, then, and only then, I'll make the thing live."
Today is the fifth day. Time flies and what do we do with it?
I've been doing a hell lot of maid-work lately. It's a fact. I don't look down on cleaning, let alone cooking, but doing work that doesn't last for more than an hour kills me. Being Sisyphus is a real punishment. (Not for real maids, of course, not for people who get paid for doing their job. Although...who knows.)
The babysitter bailed on me again -- life in Brazil is pretty unpredictable -- so I'm stealing time for doing "the comedy of writing" downstairs while Mariska and Abraham are watching TV upstairs. I can hear them playing... it's just a matter of minutes for them to come down, one of them will -- my cue to close the computer. Otherwise I'd risk its safety.
Here comes Abraham.
I'm sitting back to write this diary entry anyway. He is off to play in the garden. Need to check on him every three minutes. Two and a half would be wiser, but three minutes is the limit within which I can still stop him from making the mischief. In three minutes he doesn't have time to disappear into a neighboring garden or get himself into the pool for which he would need to go around the house and climb some stairs...
Let me check on him.
Reminder to self: This is NOT a mommy blog. This is NOT a mommy blog.
Yesterday I was reading at night: Frans Eemil Sillanpää's The Way of a Man. I read about 10 pages.
(When I finalized The Hemingway-challenge I added Sillanpää's The Way of a Man to Hemingway's list in order to have a list of 50 books. Eventually I replaced it by another book with stronger connection to Hemingway. In Walden 2.0 to which this blog could evolve one day, The Way of a Man will be part of another reading challenge as I am planning to read through the masterpieces of Nobel prize winners who "seem to have no rank" (inspired by Mr. Adam Gopnik), and tell, if they are forgotten fairly or unfairly. Until then just know this: Frans Eemil Sillanpää is a must read. His stories make life a more colorful place to live: he introduces the magic of the North as unforgettable as Marquez introduces the magic of the South.)
Sillanpää is Finland's first Nobel prize winner, born in 1888. He was also a genius, or, a very very good writer at least, whose sentences are gilded with truth. He tells about life in the Finnish countryside and what nature means to farmers. The time difference between us, that he is from the 19th century and I live in the 21st, turns his book into a fairy tale. As if life that was once very much real would be from some magical, fictional world. A world where I would love to live (as a landowner of course, not as a maid).
It's been a while since I enjoyed a book this much... it is painful to put it down and go to sleep or cuddle with Husband. (One of life's most frustrating choices is reading a great book or cuddling with Husband.)
I won't give "reviews" of the books I read. I don't care about opinions on art anymore. I care about what the book gave me, and my ability to describe what I gained from reading that book. This book puts me right back into Finland where I spent the happiest, most fulfilling, most adventurous 10 months in my life -- more adventurous than my 7 years as a New Yorker combined. I was 28 when I arrived at JFK. I was 23 when I landed in Helsinki. 23 was definitely more fulfilling. More adventurous.