Another birthday abroad, this year in the Eternal City. It is difficult to settle on a thought that summarizes the trip. I had never been to Italy before, and after the weekend, I feel as though I would not need to go anywhere else. The beauty is in the details in Italy.
There was a moment while wandering a small street in Trastevere I passed a table of 8 or so friends enjoying a Sunday lunch. The bottles were empty, the table stained with red wine, and the plates clean using scarpetta. Everyone was talking at once, and each person conducting the conversation in their own way. Although I do not speak Italian, I imagine their conversations had something to do with food, art, politics, or local gossip. It does not matter honestly, because the aura of their group was stunningly bright and left me mesmerized as they ordered a final course, tiramisu, for just a select few and some to share.
Another detail I enjoy abroad are the sunsets. Scandinavia does not see consistent sunsets, it just is not part of the culture here. It is a daily ritual that goes missing in my current routine. So every time I travel south, it is always an emotional time of day to witness such glory. It adds to the romance that is daily life in Rome. The image above may be one of my favorites from the weekend. A cozy walking street at dusk in an Italian January.
Most of all I have to take the time to thank my husband for being the best this past weekend, and every weekend. I am grateful each and every morning to wake up and live the adventure with my best friend. The support, generosity, and humor you share make my days better. Thank you for a wonderful birthday, Kulta!
No that is not some crazy edit, that is the Helsinki Cathedral on Wednesday night. It was the LUX Light Event earlier this week. An amazing spectacle where artists use light as their medium and the canvas is city buildings. Scattered throughout the streets, spectators can wander the long nights and check out what has become of their city in the darkness. This week was the 10th annual production of this event.
The Design Museum was the beginning of the tour, and my favorite show to witness. A sound and light production captivated audiences whilst gazing at the side of this building. It is one of a kind entertainment, and definitely a wild concept. Other artists contribute with mural pieces or more literal installations. Like this Love piece, it was accompanied by about five other black light pieces.
This event is one of the great things about the Finnish mentality. Even though the nights are cold, long, and currently their darkest, it is simply inspiration for the community. I appreciate this kind of work and attitude. As the Christmas lights will soon be all gone, and the winter lingers on, light is cherished.
As well as giving me a reason to go out once more and practice night photography. I am starting to get comfortable in low ISO situations. Like this photo above which demanded I stand one foot on the side of a brick of a building, the other on a handrail, all while my husbands shoved my center of gravity towards the wall, just to prop my camera on top of a metal awning. Creativity and winter demands push inspiration to the limit. a challenging combination which adds up to glowing memory.
A firework is a beautiful analogy. The moment an explosion occurs. Lights, then sound, then the reaction in your chest. Like an idea, when the initial manifestation of a thought occurs and you feel it, eureka! It may represent luck, the perfect moment when the energy shifts and it all works out just right.
As of now, I am out of ideas, and in need of some luck. A penny for my thoughts has been spent beyond my means, and now is the time to take action. Although direction, intention, and inspiration are lacking. Despite this current moment, I feel there is a silver lining, a hopeful light. Just enough to see in front of me as I wander adult streets.
I am wringing out my mind, for something more to say in this week. Distracted by new music found just a moment before. Check out Leif Vollebekk if you have some time or in the mood for the winter blue emotions. Anyway, my personal new year has always buffered being a January baby. The time between the 1st and the 21st takes a clouded filter with candlelight, and maybe a nightcap to escort wreckless nostalgia. I trust myself to navigate the new year with confidence, even if that means another season of fake it ’til I make it!
To avoid cliché introductions, I am going to dive right into the meat of this post. I have now completed 52 blog posts, once a week, for an entire year. A resolution I had set for myself just over a year ago. To reiterate my feelings on resolutions, they are powerful! The beginning of a new calendar year is more often than not an emotional process for me.
In years past, my only source of reflection and collection are the journals I keep. The retiring of an old used agenda-journal, the introduction to a fresh clean one, a lot crosses the mind. Memories or days, or weeks past, the souvenir stickers that decorate the cover, quote of inspiration that helped from the year, and water stains from days less inspirational. This year I am beyond grateful to say goodbye to 2017. Looking ahead, I mostly feel relief, because whatever may happen, I fully believe answers are on the horizon, and soon my year-long questions will be resolved.
I embody the ability to completely engulf myself in nostalgia, for better or worse, and this blog is a great place to scroll endlessly of moments and thoughts that have come to pass. It is a modern medium far different from my analog style. The excitement is still here, I can still feel it just as I did 365 days ago.
So for those of you who may be asking, ‘Will the blog continue?’, the answer is yes! In 2018 I will continue to upload weekly. I will continue to produce content, capture the images of my life, and write to express my passions, concerns, and interests. As for the complete vision of the new year, that is unclear. For now, I wish to ring in the New Year with my husband and focus on all that is good in the world and in my life.
xx – nasty trash
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. In honor of that fact, I ventured out into the darkness and made some images amongst the glowing lights of the city. To do this, a new tripod purchase was necessary. No matter how cold the temperatures may feel, you are not “freezing” enough to stand perfectly still and capture a clear image at a low ISO (I tried to deny this reality for months).
Shooting in low ISO is new to me, but I had such a great time capturing the whirling lights of the trams and vehicles. The city was still surprisingly busy, being the last couple days before Christmas. Traffic was significant, by Finland standards. More fun than capturing the images was finding new angles to shoot from. With my new Gorillapod, I can capture images from perspectives which were not achievable before now. Plus there is the added bonus of cracking vlog jokes with my husband and doing my best Casey Neistat impersonation. Where is my Boosted Board?
As my muse, the holiday lights keep the city bright. Although I have not technically seen the sun this week, and have not felt the warmth of its rays in months, twinkling lights keep spirits bright. This is one thing Helsinki does beautifully! With the downtown area in nearly uniform white lights, the streets feel all the more magical during this special time of year.
This season marks my third holiday in a row here in Helsinki. To be honest, I did not know if I would stay here this long. To be even more honest, I do not know if I will endure this third winter. It is true Finns have an incredible sense of survival, even against all odds. Yet, I am not a native, and my discipline has been challenged this year. Since moving, I have found gratitude to be a critical lifeline.
Counting blessings and maintaining personal practices and hobbies are crucial. Thus, I am beyond grateful for these images. My new tripod allows me to continue to feel the joy of creating content even when conditions are not ideal. So unless the temperatures turn too cold to keep my camera on, I will continue to capture the night.
xx – nasty trash
I am posting a little late today but in full festive spirit! Christmas trees have come to the city, and I have been anxiously awaiting to decorate. The inspiration struck a few weeks back to do an entire biodegradable tree. This may sound odd to some, but seasonal ornaments do not take high priority in our small studio storage.
Biodegradable is not a term that usually pairs with Christmas. Yet, my 2018 resolution is to take conscious steps towards a zero waste lifestyle, and I want to get a jump start with the holiday season. It did not take long for my imagination to explore all the possibilities. The traditional stringing of popcorn and dehydrated orange slices to decorate are my ornaments of choice. Below the tree is a variety of recycled papers used to wrap presents.
Although decorating a tree only takes one hand, the other hand is best used with a cocktail in it. I have been saving my new copper mugs for a special occasion. Gifted to me in a care package from my mother, what better way to get in the festive mood than with a holiday Moscow mule.
I hope, no matter what you celebrate, that your year is coming to a humble end. May the last days of December be spent with those you love in warm places, and may the year to come be promising and bright.
Thanks for reading!
xx- nasty trash
December 6th, 2017 was the 100th anniversary of Finlands Independence. While I have been living here, this has been a huge celebration all year long. For those of you who may not know, here is my rendition of the celebration.
Finns have a different mood towards December 6th, compared to other Independence Day traditions around the world. It is a solemn holiday here when citizens take time to remember those who lost their lives. Similar to Veterans Day in my home country.
Fortunately, the centennial celebration brought a new mood. Blue and white themed the streets, shop windows, and light displays. Hundreds of thousands of people were out enjoying the day. As my third time in Finland for this holiday, it was a rather shocking detail. In years past people tend to keep to themselves. Stores close and the community stays rather quiet. I am hopeful that those traditions are in the past, and now the people have taken a new attitude to their achievement.
Although hard times were faced so many years ago, I feel a positive celebration is what sustains progress. In my experience, celebrations bring communities together, verses mournings that tend to separate individuals. Among the fireworks, festive lights, and a whole year of pride leading up to this moment, Finland has a lot to be thankful for! As for me, I am thankful to be witness to something so special.
xx – nasty trash