Past solstice

Juhannus (Finnish Midsummer) celebrations over. Lots of rain, but not when the actual outdoors fun was going on. As a result, four drowned, five dead in traffic, and one in a fire.

No, not in the celebrations of my relatives. Our pyre wasn’t that big; just twigs, branches and glops of motor oil. You get that since father mine has an antique tractor twice my age; quite enough for the casual tractoring around one gets into living off from the city but not being a farmer. And so he the teacher and I the graduate student — filosofie magister and a licentiate of philosophy; Finland insists on those names though neither of us has studied any philosophy! — sat in a sauna, and spoke of high, lofty academical matters befitting our stature —

Er, that’s actually a bit difficult when you’re naked. The low point came when the talk turned to awful jokes and I, being the one with the higher degree, made up and posed this modern Finnish riddle: “What occurrence happens only in the set of blind urban cannibals?”

As a warning: this is a truly horrendously awful joke. The following linguistic note will give you a hint of this; then you will hopefully skip the next paragraph. The depression known as an “arsehole” in English is, occasionally and non-medically, called in Finnish “perssilmä”, a naive translation of which is “ass-eye”.

Hence the answer to the question is “Three glass eyes, each in a different eye socket.”

And now let us never mention this again.

I think I was saying “four drowned, five dead in traffic, and one in a fire”; and that’s the dead in all of Finland. This is a quite typical toll for this weekend of freely flowing drink and mad rushing to quiet countryside spots and then away.

Overall I’m feeling fine after this all, though a bit tired (a two-hour bus ride from point A to point B tends to do that to you); and a large part of that fine-ness is the fact that the summer solstice was yesterday.

Ah! Finally! Now the days will start to darken! The sun will actually fall under the horizon as it should — there will be shadows and twilight — there will be a curtain after the crimson sunset, and a mother night for the sunrise to spring from  — there will once again be a day, and a night, an ascendant night, ever bolder, stronger, longer — eventually, even this pesky warmth shall pass — and in the white midnight desolation cold and darkness shall reign supreme forevermore!

Er, sorry about that.

I just personally like the dayless days a lot more than these nightless nights.

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