Day 5

Day 5. As good day as any other. Except it´s Monday. Just don´t know what it is in Monday´s but they just are more difficult than any other day 🙂 Even on this lock down period, where it should not matter what day it is. But who ever came up with the idea of having Mondays in the calendar – well done. You did create something quite unique 🙂
Went for a short walk today, again to the beautiful Domain park. Super happy to see how people respect this difficult period and stay very distant from each other. Except of course the couples and families who live in the same bubble anyway. Watching those couples exercise together, did make me feel – for the first time during this whole madness – bit lonely. I sat down under a big tree and just watched them, felt the love and care between them. And thought how different our days are during the lock down. They can walk home together, hand in hand, talking about small and big things in life while walking. At home they can decide what kind of bubble they today want to live in today, is it caring and loving bubble, is it more practical ”let´s make sure our home is clean” kind of bubble. Can also be more like ”let´s take our clothes of” type of bubble but I won´t get there..yet 🙂
But the point being that when together, you can create so many variations of your day, the emotional side of it. And I´m so happy for all the couples and families who can do that. Who can spend a quiet evening just reading a book, or listening music. No need for words, just the ”awareness” that the other person is there. Or they can have a conversation, lay out all the anxiety and fear that life at the moment brings.. and they can comfort and touch when it becomes hard, having someone to dry your tears is precious.
It´s very different when being alone. There of course is online tools for talking, seeing smiling faces on the computer screen etc. but does it replace the need for another human being in the same room. Not really, nothing beats that touch. With few friends we actually discussed over the weekend what are the important things in other person when dating. Touch and smell were high on the list, not to of course mention kissing 🙂

One of the beautiful souls I´ve met during my #newlife here, Kaisla, sent me a quite relevant New York Times story about this topic. It was called

”What do we lose when we stop touching each other”. What a GREAT question that is!

The story said that psychologists call our longing for human touch a ”skin hunger”. I think it´s a great name. Just think about it, what feels better in bad day that a warm hug from a dear friend, or moment of love when someone gently touches your face. Or with your small children, those moments when they walk with you in a park and all of a sudden want to hold you hand – that little hand in yours. It´s the shape of fragility and eternity of love right there.
There was some interesting details about us humans and how touching impacts us – physical touch triggers the orbit of frontal cortex in brain and that leads into compassion feelings and releases oxytocin, regular touch reduces levels of stress hormones and University of Nort Carolina has even studied the impact of hugging – scientific prove that it stimulates the white blood cell production and helps fight infections. Also been studied by Carnegie Mellow that women who are hugged often, have fewer flu symptoms. How ironic is that? We should touch and hug more to avoid infections, but can´t due to the crazy isolation, most likely caused by too much touching in wrong places. Life has a twisted sense of humor AND romance.
But really loved that story since the writer was rightly concerned with future ”what happens after this period”. Have we lost our natural ability to touch other person, are we too afraid to hug and shake hands again?
I truly truly truly hope this is not the case, let´s just be the same old loving us and reach out to others. No, let´s actually agree to be just slightly more skin hungry in the future!

So yes, quite clear that melancholic Monday has made me miss that touch bit more than normal. And since it made me think about the relationships, dating and love, maybe during the week I´ll write about my views around relationships. What does it take in my mind to create a strong couple, what are the building blocks and cornerstones of love. Let´s see if you agree or disagree..would love to hear your comments during the week.
Now just enjoy the evening / day with your loved ones, touch them just slightly more gentle than yesterday, but just bit less than tomorrow.
And keep on loving folks.

Day 4

Another day in different kind of paradise. We are so lucky here to still be able to do limited amount of outdoor activities, as long as you do it with enough social distance. So I´m still able to jump on my bicycle and wonder around this amazing and breathtakingly beautiful city. That photo is taken from Domain park, where you can find stunning spots to sit and admire the view (I have promised myself to NEVER get used to these views..)
Before the cycling trip, I of course enjoyed Sunday morning. For me Sunday´s are special days, there is something very majestic in them. That´s why I always need some decent classical music to start with (this morning´s choice was an Estonian dude Arvo Pärt, amazing composer who has created some of the most amazing classical music pieces into this world).
While floating in the waves of calming music, I managed to forget the outside world, all of it´s troubles and worries. I managed to escape into that famous bubble for a while. There was only the present moment, no past, no future. It felt safe, I felt happy and balanced.
Don´t get me wrong, I´m not saying that we need to ”escape” the real world, it´s always there with it´s sorrows and pains. It´s just nice to sometimes take a little break of it and focus on the moment, let your mind and soul rest. Just let the music and thoughts carry you to the calming waves and let sun cherish you all over.
For me music has been a great way to ”escape”, books as well. And now with older age other forms of art, photographs and paintings have become a super important source of ”emotional power” as well. Funny enough, I can´t play a single instrument, I totally suck in singing, drawing, painting..just everything that relates to art. But maybe that´s why it´s so easy for me to love it..for me it´s purely a ”heart and mind” thing, I don´t have to analyze a single beat or line in the painting. I can just feel it.
From very early on music has been a strong element of my emotional life. I was born and raised in a farm, which was not too easy for me. For reason I still haven´t been able to figure out, I wanted out to the ”big world” from very young age. Easier said than done back in the days, so I used music and books a lot as my wings to wonder around the world.
Useful skill to have now, during this total lock down. Being isolated in new country I´m really happy that I can jump on those wings, close my eyes and let the emotions flow. And there is plenty of emotions right now, melancholy is one, actually very interesting one. Not a big surprise that it has been very present in my life lately. Being far away from my own boys, those great monkeys that I love to the moon, is sometimes super hard. Missing our evenings together, our great and deep conversations, our super bad jokes etc. One very big source of melancholy for sure. But I have learned to like it. I honestly think that when melancholy or sadness knocks, just open the door and let them in. Make them some coffee and have a chat. Listen carefully ´cause most likely every time you learn something new about yourself.
It´s not all sad and tears though, even these crazy times, I can still find tons of happiness and joy in my life. As I´ve already said, new friends here are just amazing individuals and I could not be more grateful to have them in my life. AND – I can´t wait those moments when the ”new normal starts” and we can get together at my ”K Road Love Lounge”, i.e. this apartment, put on some great music, talk and laugh endless nights, get drunk both from wine and life.
So many other things to smile at, but maybe I´ll save them for next times – those will be topics for maaaany days 🙂
So guess what Í´m trying to say is – what ever your method, vehicle or tool is to fly little higher, see around little wider or cry little louder, just use it. Find it and use it. These days of isolation are the gold en opportunity for all of us to learn just a little more about the most important – ourselves. That´s the key to ultimate happiness. Only when you love the face in the mirror (in a healthy way), can you love others.
Be safe. And keep on loving.

That´s some random thoughts from Day 4.
I also got some beautiful text from Tracey today, want to share it with you:

Be still my cherub.  Be still.
Let the loving arms of Mother Nature wrap around you. 
Feel the embrace of the sun’s warmth, of birds singing and chatting.  Be a part of that conversation.  Listen to the whispers, the secrets of the leaves. 
There is magic in their message.
We are one.  We are connected.  The parts make the whole.  Who am I to think my part is greater, or that of another. 
We are the same.
The love exists there.  In that space.  In that quiet inner conversation. 
That’s where the love is.
A melting pot of compassion, darkness, vibration, and color. 
How do we stir it.  Or should we just observe the swirls and allow it to mix. 
Be still child.  Be still.

Day 3

Third day turning into an evening. It´s just so amazing feeling to wake up or go to bed in this place now. I live in ”K road” which is maybe the most wild street of all in Auckland. Every evening and night I hear music, people singing, loving, hating, laughing and having fun together. When I step out on the street on normal evening, it´s full of lights, it´s a full circus of life in it´s all possible aspects.
Now there´s total silence. Walking on the street in the evening is like walking in a ghost town, no music, no people, no nothing. If there´s a place in New Zealand where you can feel the impact of this lock down, guess this is it. In a way very sad feeling, also scary, but so new and exiting that even don´t know what to think. Silence is calming in the evenings and mornings, but i truly truly miss all the signs of LIFE here, this place is just so colorful..
Today I did go out, bicycled around the city and what also was a weird experience. Usually this city is not optimal for bicycling, lacks lot of bike lanes etc. But now – what an experience it was to go around the empty city. Yes it was also bit spooky when there was hardly anyone there. But it also woke a totally new ”emotion” in me, new kind of love towards a city without cars. What a feeling of freedom it was to cycle around the empty streets..felt like I was in a movie 🙂 Movie about the future where people are happy and sun shines brighter 🙂
Wonderful experience also from yesterday evening was to use modern technology and video chat with several friends. Our catch up call ended up being a quite emotional 1.5. hours, mainly reg. the challenges this situation brings to each individual. The ability to express fears, worry about the future together and support each other in an online meeting – new experience for me, but very powerful. Demonstrated in beautiful way how in difficult times we do find that extra layer from us, we step out from our shadows, we reach out to others and unite virtual hands to be stronger together.
On a personal note – think I´m still waiting how this isolation will truly ”hit me”. I have of course spent so much time alone already before this, so experience is not new. But the lack of choice, the fact that you´re forced away from your natural choices of meeting people, going on a date, hoping for a kiss for goodnight etc. That I´m not sure how weeks will impact. How much I will start missing just the possibility to ask someone out, just for a walk, gallery visit etc. Yet, this difficult period is a great reminder of the ”first world problems” that we have. Things that I worry and ”complain”.. so many people in this world don´t even have a change to dream about them. So I go to sleep tonight with just a grateful mind, thankful of everything I today have and tomorrow will bring.
To finish of this diary day 3, I´m trying something new. All my poems in this blog are in Finnish, but for the first time ever, I´ll try something in English

Where would I go
All these windows
my gate to fly
but where would I go
just keep whispering the same
no, shout I try
just so quiet don´t want to wake
next door, strangers they are
baby is cute, innocent, I let it be
sitting here, I hear them
the gate is open
lights behind the window
just an invitation, is it green
that I wait
but why
where would I go
so many times before
this quiet shout, my voice is gone
you know what I mean
why can´t you hear
you know my words
why can´t you guide
light the right light
shall I fly now?

Day 2

Second day of this new and weird world of ”lock down”. Have to say that I would have never thought I will see something like this during my lifetime. Had these silver lined dreams that we are untouchable, nothing this evil will hit us. How wrong was I. Takes a lot of effort to keep the mood up when looking at the empty highways and streets. On a different day it would be the most beautiful thing to witness, peaceful street with sun rise. But now it´s just an illustration of a tragedy. Of jobs that will be lost, families and relationships that will end, hearts that will be broken.
I´m not saying I´m afraid of the melancholic mood, think we all need it. We need to face the sadness in this world, we need to cry when we feel like it. That´s part of the journey to one´s ”inner self”. But right now the scale of things, the total lack of control, makes it sometimes bit hard to handle. Being alone in this new place with very little to do, it really takes some effort to keep the balance. Might be the ultimate ”retreat” and meditation trip that I will ever experience.
Then there is the other side of the coin. All the good that this will bring. And boy I think there will be plenty, not start blogging about that since there is already so much discussions around it. But polishing that silver lining right back on, this most likely will return our ability to love each other again in more unconditional way. This will bring back the human behavior that we have lost, our willingness to help each other. I know I keep repeating this same story. But I have been dreaming about it for so many years that it would be so beautiful to see it happening. Would just L O V E that.
Thinking about my own agenda, what the hell do you do indoors for a month. Especially when I missed out buying many of the fitness equipment’s I wanted. On this second day I will add some silver lining on this as well – ´cause when I decided to make this huge change in my life and move to the other side of the world, I promised myself that this will bring some improvements –
Two of the promises are both now very valid – more focus on the moment and more time for reading. Maybe I should have been careful what I wished for?!? Now I for sure have time to be more present in the moment, because the moment is the only thing I have. This hopefully will educate me much further to strip down a lot from the present moment. Being in the moment more also means more time for dreaming. And I love dreaming. That´s one thing nobody can take a way from you – even if as to my great surprise I see many relationships where other person is desperately trying to cut down the dreams of the partner. Why? Dreaming is the best thing ever, further your mind wonders, brighter the colors and more hungry for life you are! So think we should ONLY encourage each others and ourselves to dream more, let your mind fly.

And reading, something I used to love when I was a kid. With today´s busy schedules I just have forgotten how to do that, how to dive into the fantasy world of the book. To carry on with the dreaming theme – books are so different from movies. With reading I can create every scene in my mind exactly as I like, the perfume of the woman is the one what only I can smell, the one I adore, her eyes are exactly as brown as I wanted them to be, the sea is so blue and the sun is so bright. THAT world of imagination I want to find again.
But enough of my thoughts for today. I want to save some space for a writing that my friend Clinton sent yesterday. He is a beautiful soul and I think you can agree just by reading this:

Bubble time
What a strange time it is.
This new life in a bubble. With transparent walls we could easily slip through but for our individual and collective will to make a difference and save lives.
What a gift it is! This time in a bubble. A time to reconnect with self and others, even without physical contact. A time to read, watch, learn and listen. To ponder what it means to truly be alive, even as others succumb to this World encompassing malady.
A time to reconsider Mother Nature, at once aghast and in awe. And especially to renew our respect for her.
This precious time in a bubble.
To park up in peace and tranquility with no need to rush hither or thither.
A time to cherish the warmth of the sun, a chat over the fence and a gentle stroll in one’s ‘hood.
This blessing of space in a bubble.
Sheltered from the maelstrom of our daily routine lives, cherished moments to reflect upon and remember what truly matters. A time to tidy up our messy rooms, relationships and lives.
An opportune time to care and share whilst in a bubble.
To reach out to others whose need is greater than our own, whose bubble may be a lonely one, or one less well supplied.
A time to respect a little more our healthcare and other essential workers. Bubble Angels who save us, or continue to grow our food, process and transport it that we may be sustained.
To sing a song of gratitude to the unsung heroes who bring home our loved ones, protect our streets, process our emergency benefits, restock our depleted supermarket shelves, keep our prescriptions coming and our country ticking over. All whilst having to leave the safety of their own bubbles for the greater good.
And a shout out to our leaders who have been bold and decisive in advocating this bubble time for one and all. Humanity before money and things.
And when this time is done – as this too shall pass – rather than burst our bubble perhaps we might let it gently merge with those of others. To share our learnings and exchange experiences.
Imagine if all our bubbles were to coalesce into one gigantic bubble filled with gratitude, compassion, love.
Who would have thought a little bubble time might begin to heal our world?

Day 1

This is the first day of total lock down in New Zealand. Everything is closed, except supermarkets for food and pharmacies for medicine. Everyone needs to stay home, no social contacts outside own family allowed.
Sad enough, I wrote about this topic in this blog recently. It was about being alone by choice vs. being lonely. And sooner than I thought, I found myself in the middle of it..

”Being alone by choice is a privilege, being alone without a choice can be a misery”

It´s so popular in our modern world to have ”quiet moments” and ”travel to inner me”. And even better when you can choose the time for it. But now all of a sudden we´re in a situation where we don´t have a choice. Be alone and deal with it.
I´m still gathering my thoughts around this. I have landed into this country 2.5 months ago, so many things are still new. And you now how our mind works, more familiar environment, more safe you feel. So in a new place, with none of my personal stuff yet here, in total isolation, it´s quite a new situation for me. Especially when home for me is important, it has become my safe harbor where tears, fears and laughter go hand in hand, I´m far away from my boys that I love to the moon. Obviously there is both the worry about their health and the fear of being so distant if something happens to me. In the moments of emergency you need your love ones close.. Of course I know that I´m still privileged, so many in worse situation and so little we can do to help. But still, I´m only human and my small mind takes time to adjust. And actively working on finding the silver lining on the situation. Which I truly think there is..
There is this completely NEW side of things – many of us have been self isolating already for several days so there is some experience on how this all works and feels.
Some interesting findings – it truly feels like the difficult times are finally uniting people more than ever in our lifetime. Even if the connections are only via chat, video calls, phone calls etc. it seems like we´re sharing so much more of ourselves already. Like in our office that has been virtual for days already – we share a lot about our homes, families, pets, fears, there´s jokes, competitions etc. Think I´ve learned more about my colleagues during these few ”online days” than during the onsite days at the office. Love it!
Not to mention friends, how many creative ideas regarding sharing and caring. And just before lock down yesterday, I got some beautiful prove that I´ve met some fabulous people here. Without asking I was offered some help with food shopping, got them even delivered to my door. And had caring soul to deliver extra heaters to my door just before the lock down by midnight. Just to make sure I don´t get cold during this crazy period. What can I say, difficult times bring the true beauty out of people. Not gonna mention any names here. You know who you are Sophie and Kaisla 🙂
Love you both!
This is a block about love, so of course I need to mention it..and have a feeling that during these days I will be writing quite a lot about it 🙂 Both the lack of it and the new ways of feeling it. This quiet time for sure is a perfect time to investigate the most important form of love. The ability to love yourself.
So let´s use these difficult times to get back to basics, spend that extra time to get to know who we really are and look around to appreciate what we have.
I will do my best to observe and understand more, stay safe, stay fit, work hard and keep the loved ones virtually close. On these daily updates I can hopefully also share some loving words and thoughts from you all, there´s so much beauty and love that we need to share!

Final thought on love for the Day 1:
I´ve said many times that my dream is both desperate and hopeful. I dream of the day when everything has changed overnight. There is no more hate, there is no more discrimination. There is acceptance. There is a world where love has beaten all the wars.
I always thought this dream is utopia. Now I think it could be tomorrow.

Love Lockdown – Day 1

Sinulle ystäväni

ensimmäistä kertaa
yksin – vaikka yritin sanoa ei
äänet ympäriltä vaipuu
tämä niin eloisa katu, hiljaisuutta täynnä

maailma on hetken pieni, niin kovin pieni
kun laukkuni pakkasin ja toivoa sinne viikkasin
oli huominen väriä täynnä
nyt yö katsoo synkillä silmillään
huominen täynnä kysymyksiä

tilaa ajatuksille, aikaa tunteille
mietteille sinusta
miten arvokas sinä olet, muistinko sanoa
kun laukkuni pakkasin

annan sille vallan, ikävälle voiman
tuhansia kilometreja, valtameriä
niin paljon meitä erottaa
silti koskaan et lähempänä
ole seilannut

tuttu on tuo olkapää
johon ennenkin olen saanut nojata
sama tarkka korva
huolteni tulkkina
sama silmät yhteisten ilojemme
peilinä – hymyilen

sinä ystäväni, sinä olet aina tässä