1.–31.3.2019 Ars Libera, Kuopio, FI

Jake has died. His limbs and body segments have become paper-thin in the final stages. The days stick together in drizzly clumps that are difficult to tell apart from each other afterwards. The graph for average temperatures in November in Helsinki and Sodankylä looks like the teeth of a predatory animal, dragging itself diagonally upwards in the direction of reading to the 2010s and onward towards the future.

In Finnish, November is marraskuu. In Finnish folklore, ”marras” means one who is dead or dying. After a short period of below-zero temperatures, the world stops, when the damp topsoil freezes for a while into an immobile armour . Then there is a thaw again, and during the daylight hours, I dig holes in the garden. The ground is muddy only in the hollows, under the vegetation-covered bulges, the loamy soil is fragrant and crumbly, and the roots of the couch grass come loose easily in a black-and-white skein of dotted lines. Every now and then, the spade hits the tunnel of a water vole, in its winter storage there are at least some grains of intensively-farmed wheat from the birds’ winter-feeding site, they have swollen in the damp and are about to sprout. Later, when it gets too dark to see, I wash the mud off my face in front of the mirror in the toilet. There’s always some in my eyes, too.

What was there for me to lose? Nothing more than what everyone will lose anyway.