Monday, 28 November 2011

A HUGgin experience

We have enjoyed an exceptionally mild autumn, although recently it has no longer felt a luxury. There’s no sign of snow yet so the days are depressingly grey and dark except for an occasional hour or two of sun once or twice weekly if we are lucky. This is an unfriendly time for anyone and even more so for someone trying to carry out some changes in his/her life. Therefore a little bit of indulging is most appropriate to boost your spirits in the darkest season of the year.

Last Saturday, I went with my husband to a most ear-hugging concert at the HUG (Helsinki Universal Guitar) Festival. They have such a welcoming logo that seeing it alone will make you want to book tickets. We love ‘la guitarra española’ but had heard hardly any classical guitar live earlier. And what a feast it was!

The concert started with performances by the Artistic Director of the festival, the excellent Finnish (flamenco) guitarist and composer Raúl Mannola. In addition, it offered breath-taking shows by Antonio Rey, the Spanish flamenco guitar virtuoso and composer who has in recent years won all the guitar competitions he has participated in, and the legendary American guitarist and composer Ralph Towner whose caress of the strings is as stunning as ever at his seventies. 
The ease with which these masters handle their instrument is phenomenal and the music they produce is pure magic. We were served some serious HUGging!

Ralph Towner playing his own tune Jamaica Stopover.

Thanks to modern technology you can relive feelings from an uplifting concert at home even if most of the CDs were sold out by the time you were at the counter. Looking forward to a new live ‘guitarrista’ experience on our next trip to Spain.

Teresa Maria

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Perils of planning

Ive always had great admiration for people who are able to jump into working on something the minute it comes to their mind. I don’t refer to the easily inspired ones, those who forget all about their worldly obligations when they suddenly become absorbed by a compelling notion. Even I may have been guilty of such behaviour every once in a while, and that is not necessarily a quality to admire. I refer to the efficient ones who happen to think about something they would like to do and when you turn your head they are busy implementing their idea.

My best friend at university was one of them. She always had some small everyday project or other going on, and I bet she still has. For example, she might think it would be nice to have a particular kind of sweater and the next day she simply bought the yarn and started knitting.

Pieces of Marimekko fabrics waiting for their perfect use.

It seems I’m always stuck in the planning phase. No, I’m not one of those who make a roadmap for each of their tiniest projects with a budget, a timeline and descriptions of things to consider and of those that might go wrong. On the contrary, I rather avoid making any kinds of definitive plans on paper. That doesn’t mean I don’t make plans. For me, planning is a process brewing in my mind almost constantly without requiring much attention or awareness. Still I find my domestic accomplishments modest.

Making a definitive plan would imply abandoning all the other alternatives the situation at hand might offer or could be solved by. I’ve only just realized this may the poison that’s making me suffer if a written plan is demanded. I can’t stand the thought that the options would be limited to just one. – Or is this another excuse because it’s painful to admit your own lack of initiative?

No more pondering about the best use for a piece of fabric or ball of wool for the absolutely optimal outcome. No more postponing the little things to a more suitable moment. I’m promising myself to implement at least one, however small, idea or thought every day at once when I come to think of it or notice that something needs just a little bit of attention to make it right. Quite a lesson to learn, I can assure you.

Teresa Maria

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Keeping life open till late

Like so many of us, I’m a master in finding excuses. There has never been any difficulty for me to list dozens of perfectly valid reasons anytime to postpone the fun and creative things I would love to do and am currently unable to but will definitely accomplish one day. There was always something more pressing, more worthwhile to take care of first if I were to consider myself a proper and praiseworthy member of the team: family, workplace, circle of friends, neighbourhood, you name it. 

New beginnings.

Even right now, I could give you an impressive account of things waiting to be urgently tidied out, filed, recycled, rearranged, refurbished or repaired in and around my house. The present list would include quite a number of jobs requiring hours and hours of work. Moreover, many of them are – at least if you ask my husband – obstacles to our future happiness. But even so the burden of unfinished and awaiting tasks is blocking my view so that I’m unable to see the rest of my life. It provides me with a wall to hide behind and avoid plunging into the unknown, although more fulfilling tomorrow that I both fear and yearn for but still believe to be waiting for me, not just yet. 

Wasted potential.

The escape must end this instant. There cannot be anything more pressing ever to require my attention than living my life fully, the way I’ve wanted for ages but haven’t been able to because I’ve been too cowardly, too inefficient or simply too lazy to get a grip of my potential.

Please join me on the journey into venturing towards what might be perfect for me. I’m learning to keep all the doors of my life open till late for any number of new things to enter. Some of them must be simply wonderful. 

Teresa Maria

Open till late with a wide choice of options.