in residence [3]

Snow. One night and one afternoon falling, one day on the ground. Passed up on the opportunity to roll in fresh snowfall after sauna. Went to Turku instead, 33 km away, jumping on the chance of a ride with J+F. Brushed off the car, scraped the windscreen free of ice. It was still early, reminding of winter school runs two decades ago, kettle boiling, cascades of hot water melting the iced-over glass visible. Jack Frost on the inside.

Reading a book on crying, I learn that water molecules freeze around a molecule of something and that’s how snowflakes form. Snow is water frozen around dust, around bacterial molecules, around a fraction of a wood chip.

We saw Rosa Barba in WAM. Funny to see a Berlin-based video artist in Turku. It was the second exhibition I’ve visited this year. Most people wore masks in the streets. I ate reindeer and drank calvados. Opposite my hotel bed was a full length mirror – YOU HAVE A NICE SMILE stencilled across the bottom.

in residence [2]

Day 4: Second corona test taken at drive-through testing centre. This time a nose-swab / brain-tickling. Just three more seconds, the PPE-ed woman told me. Taxi driver gave me thumbs-up, eyes laughing above mask. A whisky & campari celebration is planned if they text me & L. from Austria, fellow quarantinee, with positive news of negative test tomorrow. Liebäugling the sauna building by the pond everytime I pass it.

Conifer trees secrete terpenes – antioxidant / antibacterial / pain-managing / mood-elevating. Went terpene-inhaling before sitting down to write/edit. Stood with my face in the sun for full vitamin D exposure. Found mushrooms for O. Saw bird-watcher with serious equipment and a serious face to match. The Finnish say hej so he must have understood my hi.

Zoom with resident S. in Italy. Think of me when it gets dark, she says. Do soundwalks at night, record nature. Night here falls at 16:22.

Walk findings: The House of Sorrow; roadside plants.

in residence [1]

Day 2 at Saari Residence near Mynämäki.

Woken by an archeologist removing soggy yellow leaves from the house gutters after a long night of strange sleep (an imagined mouse, pitch black & restless looping dreams. Listened to New Yorker’s Writer’s Voice podcast – Douglas Stuart reads The Englishman – at 3 a.m., yesterday’s gale still blowing.)

The yellow manor house is being renovated, layers of the past excavated, floors dug open. They’re archeologists not builders, says one of the residency staff.

Quarantining in half a house. (A dancer/choreographer couple in the other half. They wave and grin from the path.) It’s bigger than my flat in Berlin, the rooms laid out in a circle. When I got here, I chased through the rooms like a dog after its own tail.

First negative corona test result arrived today, next test on Thursday. Residence Hostess I. threw a box of black tea bags up to me from the path. She sounds like my father’s ex-wife when she laughs, infectiously.

Writing punctuated by walks. Lucky quarantining on the border of nature reserve. Found two bird observation towers looking out over the wetlands, Mietoistenlahti. Watched the sunset from Silakkari, marked on map as a site of exceptional natural beauty.