Stories from the bus

Sitting in the bus from Tallinn to Riga, Vilnius and eventually Berlin, I got inspired to write some again after quite a while. Well, I’ve been writing, but not publishing.. What would have inspired this now? Hard to say; maybe the sunny weather that is so welcome and rare after weeks and weeks of cloudy days. Or maybe it is the lovely, calm atmosphere in the bus.. some people sleeping, some checking their smart phones, some having a snack or just sitting and taking in the passing country side. Russians, Estonians, Chinese, Finnish, Spanish.. all on their way from somewhere to somewhere. The little warmth of the sunrays as they enter through the windows, reminding of summer.. with snow white on the ground.

Finland is often called a country of plenty of forest, but of how many places can the same be said, including Estonia..!

In the city it was a lovely day and night with a most friendly stranger who is no longer stranger that I met through couch surfing. I dared myself to play a few songs in the streets of the Old Town, and we strolled in circles around the corners of that spectacular old city centre, rain falling and turning to snow, a bit of a bitter wind in the air and still at least that part of Tallinn was full of people wishing to appreciate, first-hand, the beauty and calm of this medieval town.

Tallinn's Old Town Birds by the wintery sea

In the city this morning the rain had stopped and I wandered through the empty streets towards the bus station. There were certain things that caught my eye, in the structures, people, something, that reminded me of things as it seemed.. Just the smallest of things made me feel like remembering some times past, maybe as though from another age – or perhaps I was remembering something of my childhood, from trips to Estonia, or from Finland, where the infrastructure and ways of being surely also were somewhat different twenty years past than today.. Maybe it was a dip into a past through memory of another life, or something just totally not like that, but it was peculiar and interesting to feel part of this, or it was part of me.

Yesterday I went into an art gallery, and there in the cellar was a little exhibition by a young, just past twenty, male artist who portrayed war and soldiers here in the north, maybe Estonia. His introductory text about his exhibition explained how he thinks that today it is easy to sense in Estonia this overall air or fear of sorts due to the looming threat from Russia. This took me by surprise somehow, to read this coming from a young man.. and having just come from Finland where occasionally our lengthy discussions with brothers and friends would evolve around the themes of war, humanity and prospects of future. Having no other knowledge of what the “public atmosphere” is in Estonia, I wonder if there is more of this sort of true fear in people’s hearts about a possible new war or invasion.. In Finland we spoke how the younger generations have knowledge and understanding of what the older generations have gone through, how they fought to make Finland independent.. and built the country afterwards. How it is something deeply respected, yet also the younger generation who have no first hand experience of war, find it hard to relate to fearful beliefs. It almost might not in any way make sense to think that there could even be the possibility of war.. whereas in the minds of some old veterans who’ve actually been those that defended the country against a then-foe, generate plenty of prospects sometimes of how the old enemy might again come up with a reason to actually force themselves upon us with some goal of gaining benefit.

Who’s to say this might not happen? But how is it that we even think this way anymore.. how is it really that it still may not be easy to choose not to even consider war-like actions, to step down from thinking of “defending OUR borders”.. what borders are those? Defending.. from what..? Or against what? Who are we, and who are they, that we can speak of these as something separate, in truth?

The young Estonian artist urged us all to remember how important it is to realize the threats we may be facing, and brave ourselves to be ready to defend ourselves.

The intrinsically effortless yet seemingly complicated quest for life we mustn’t give up, or generally won’t. But there are plenty of structures and borders that lose their meaning when our relatedness and connectedness with everyone else is understood, and not only that, but lived, felt.

Yesterday we watched the movie “Lucy”. Rather a hectic movie session, with all that action and effects! Lovely though with good food and warm blankets. But in the core of it, an interesting play with the thoughts about the potentials of human mind.. where we are coming from, and where we might be going to. Taking it quite far, combining spheres of study of human mind, quantum physics, philosophies and natural order, or chaos, that maybe can’t be explained..

Now sitting here I felt like it was equally well wrapped up, or opened up to endless possibility, through a little chapter in the book “Zen” by Alan Watts. As he writes (my translation from Finnish):

“.. Since the earliest times, the basis of Indian life and thinking has been a great mythological theme, atma-jadzna – the act of “self-sacrifice”, through which God gives birth to the world and through which people reach the God-connection again by following the godly example. The act through which the world was created, is the same act through which it replenishes itself, or becomes “fuller” – the giving up of own life – , just as though the whole functioning of the universe was a game, where it is necessary to pass on the ball as soon as it is received. Thus the basic myth in Hinduism is that the world is God who’s hiding from itself.. The Lord of many names creates the world through forgetting self, when One becomes many and one actor plays countless roles. Eventually he returns to himself only to begin the game once more – One dies into many, and many die into One. …. for God has divided himself “for the game”, but in truth he (she, it..) remains undivided.”

Self sacrifice.. to pull things into once thinking “box”, similar thought patterns can be seen in multiple religions, belief systems, if one looks at it that way.

Lucy, in the movie, asked a professor who had studied and created theories of human mind that would function at 100% capacity, what she should do when she’s got all the knowledge, when there are no restrictions, when she functions that way. What should she do then? The professor answers that as it seems to be a nature of life to divide, give, multiply.. he suggests Lucy to just pass it on.

By giving ourselves, maybe we are doing that indeed. By offering what there is to offer, by being and letting others be all that they are.. war and fighting rather lose their meaning. One becomes many, and many become one.

Moon light dance, over Helsinki harborphoto1150

Probably we’ve all heard of “Lucy”, but here is still one little link to the original findings and story:

And there in, why it may matter that we think of our origins and being: “”There is a single common origin for humanity. No matter the shape of our eyes, no matter the color of our skin, no matter the shape of our hair, no matter what kind of culture we live in, we all carry those same genes in our body. We are united by our past. We are united by this common beginning,” said Johanson. …. Discoveries such as Lucy not only led scholars to understand the common origins of all humans; it also highlights the uniqueness of the modern man. Today’s human has a complex brain, language and culture. Johanson said these traits allow humans to adapt and overcome the environmental challenges that have occurred and will continue to occur over time.” What kind of adaptations will there be, I wonder!

Such bus stories, passed on to you.. Perhaps the writing bug will bite again in the coming days, while I venture into the west to see some old and new friends, play a bit of music and find what there is to be found – be what there is to be! 🙂 To the best of these capacities of the brain.


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