During the summer months, we will be featuring guest posts based on submissions to the SeaHer photo competition. Now we feature the resonating poem by Elina Uusitalo, who hails from a small village near the beautiful Pori, Finland. Her poem is entitled ‘The Sea and Me’. Here’s hoping as Elina so eloquently writes, ‘that the cackle of …geese gets a smile on your lips’. Happy summer from the SeaHer team!
Elina’s story with the Sea continues after the poem. Enjoy!
The Sea and Me-Elina Uusitalo
I am calm in front of the endless tranquility.
The sound of crackling ice under my feet are warning,
“don’t you girl come, wait, wait”, gently.
The sea speaks in a deep voice to my sad soul.
until I get opened again and finally we can touch each
until my glory is revealed under this thick ice.
when the cackle of spring geese gets a smile on your lips.
And you notice a miracle,
how bright green leaves are making a delicate weave
to the twisted trees of my shores.
Soon we can breathe each other
and then we rush out to the summer surges.
My small wooden boat is waltzing on the waves.
The tarred boat pushes firmly forward,
like dodging the biggest foamy wave crests.
The Sea and Me.
Now, in this moment, so grateful.
In this little fishing harbor, here I can feel my roots,
In this seascape, all my memories,
into the arms of the sea.
The icy breeze from the bay, salty wind caresses my face,
like no man ever will.
Suddenly, dark blur inside of me.
How do we survive?
I ask fearfully.
And what about me?
In these reefs of my life?
I let my boat brightly prance on your waves.
On my way to homeport, majestics sea eagles are guiding me.
Still the sadness strangles my throat,
are you going to survive?
And the Sea answers fatherly,
“Girl, don’t worry, no distress, it’s only now,
we are present in this moment, now and forever”.
I’m so sorry,
from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry,
for me and entire humankind.
I apologize humbly.
I have behaved ungratefully and disrespectfully.
The Sea is calming me down peacefully,
“Girl, girl, wait,
be patient for a little while.
Soon we’ll meet again, in the embrace of spring.”
The Sea and Me.
About Elina Uusitalo and her relationship to the Baltic Sea – in her words
This is a story about the sea and me. I am from a small village near Pori, so the seafront is familiar to me. In addition to my work, I have studied at the University of Turku in Cultural Production and Landscape Studies, which has been an exciting period in my life. And now at this moment, I’m thinking about my master’s thesis on cultural relationships with the sea.
Why does the sea and maritime culture still touch people’s hearts? This thought I wondered, as I walked along the slippery path towards my little home village, where my childhood seascape lays in the bay. Suddenly, I had to sniff the salty air and think about, what my own relationship is with the sea. And how is maritime culture still influencing the daily lives of the villagers, or is it?
In this story of the Sea and Me having a conversation, I have described a sea story in creative writing means, which is to me a new and exhilarating way to observe the relationship between the nature and me. In my mind, I have more questions than answers related to maritime culture, but in my private walks, these questions are sometimes answered. The story is a description of the relationship between the sea and me, in which I express my feelings to the sea through my thoughts, emanating from my heart. In this work I cooperated with my dear friend, who has taken these magnificent photos. He didn’t want his name in public, so I wrote the story and he encouraged me to participate in this competition. The photos are taken from the cliffs of Kallo, in the city of Pori, when the Tapani-storm was raging at the sea, in the year 2011. I’m thankful for this opportunity to my friend for using these photos and also grateful for his endless patience with me, while he taught me about the secrets of photography.
I hope that with this story and these powerful photos, I can offer you a glimpse of my cultural maritime landscape.