Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Storm Before The Storm

We have family meetings now. They are not our favorites. We sit on the opposite ends of the table, our calendars, or worse, our computers out, sighing, penciling in deadlines, writing down endless lists of things that need to get done, glaring at each other slightly annoyed.

Neither of us is particularly organized, or for that matter, even that interested in order. Neither of us likes to clean, do the books, call people. We don't have some secret inner resource of structuring that we could tap into. Our papers are in piles, our receipts crumpled up, our ideas written in five different notebooks, the right one always mysteriously missing.

So for this morning's meeting, we went for a walk instead, in the blustery weather, the wind and rain that later turned into a full-blown squall.

Armed with rubber boots, woolens and coffee, we walked trough the woods talking, tossing around ideas like pine cones, not taking notes, breathing in deep instead of sighing, discussing rather than bickering.

I love being out in the weather, especially when it takes a less-than-tranquil turn. Storms have a strange, calming effect on me, surely some unconscious product of years of exposure to Tove Jansson stories; a writer who's love of the elements, especially when they're unpredictable and precarious, is palpable even on the printed page.

“Everything is very uncertain, and that makes me feel reassured.” Is one of my favorite quotes from her work. Maybe our shared love of storms stems from this idea of the brink being a comfort, knowing exactly where you stand, even if it's a rather unsteady place.

After we were done talking, we watched the waves crash onto the rocks for a while. An osprey hung in the high wind unmoving for a long time, perfectly still in the gusting air. Later, it caught a fish from beneath the roiling surface of the water, through skill, or luck or a little bit of both.

Walking back home things seemed lighter and brighter even in the damp cold, with heavy rainclouds marching overhead. We went onto have a day of good work.

I notice that more than ever, I speak of the two of us in plural; "We do this..." "We do that... " "We think...""We want to... "" We're trying to... " "We're building..."

I guess we're a team. Storms and all.

How do you and your partner (business, or love, either way) work together? 


  1. Oh Milla ! I love stormy weather, particularly on the coastline - and guess what ? For a long time last year, there was a page from Tove Jansson hanging from my inspiration line, with a drawing showing Moomin and Tou-ticki (in French at least this is what she is called) in the forest, gazing at the night sky. They were wondering about Aurora Borealis: are they real, or do they just appear to be so? Moomin sighs and says: "I think they are real". Both are silent for a while and it is Tou-ticki, I think, who says: “Everything is very uncertain, and that makes me feel reassured.”

    I feel so in tune with both of them.

    And with both of you, as well :o)

  2. Also: how I love these pictures! The colours, the wind, your pullover, your hair, everything.

  3. ummm can i please be first in line to trade you something for that sweater if you ever part with it? love this post on getting out of the box to talk about stuff. so important. just changing the surroundings can be so powerful. <3

  4. we miss you! and L is shocked and dismayed you no longer have "the tiny cabin playhouse". xo m

  5. that hooded sweater is amazing. i love being outside in that weather, too.

  6. A bit like you've described here, we find walking things out the best way to sort things out...

  7. Beautiful pictures - I love the atmosphere in them!

    I also like storms or rather stormy weather and taking a walk by the sea when the wind soughs through the hair. It's like the wind then cleans up the head, ordering things by its disorder... hm, difficult to describe, but I think you get my point ;)

  8. Maybe this is something we should adopt. Right now we do a "monthly" "Money Party" and go through lists then. It is not fun. The only funny thing is what we call it.

  9. Walking and working things out. Bundling up in your (everybody's) favorite sweater, coffee in a ball jar for comfort, whipping winds and moving clouds to energize your minds. Breathing in the moist cold air, opening up, clearing the to do lists in your head. Better now. Better than before, when sitting around the table, stuck in sighs. Now planning, and building and doing will be easier. Together.

  10. ah, thank you for taking us on your walk. i am loving the feeling of the wind, a little bit of sticky salt spray, the coffee in my hand that is getting cold but still tastes delicious. also, this post reminded me of a bit i heard derrick jensen say yesterday in an interview. he was referencing ALOTW and how when he is stuck creatively, he goes for a walk, and it is often the tree(s) that tell him what to write, literally. so good that you and C are taking your business out to the land, letting it get a word in edgewise, collaborating with the All. xoxo

  11. Voi Milla... niin samoja tuulia täällä...
    It's the nicest thing to work as partners with your nearest and dearest. When you don't have to explain everything since you know each other so well. And you can exactly start brainstorming right when the inspiration hits, yes usually on a walk in the nature.
    But it's also so difficult! For me this mingling of freetime and worktime doesn't seem to suit that perfectly. I'm still very much in the process of learning how to schedule my life and how to not stress all the time. Life management skills at lost here at the moment. So can't give you any succesful tips I'm afraid.
    And we are not even yet REAL business partners, just working on projects together.
    No joo... Haleja.

  12. Yes with the sweater comments! That is a real find, Milla! And though my husband and I do work very well together as a team, I think it's good that we also are mostly separate during the day- we need our space sometimes! We work best when we are doing physical work, like painting or gardening or shoveling snow, etc. because we are very hard workers and tend to match each others' pace. But we have also become pretty specialized in what we take care of around the house. We compliment each other and make a good team!

  13. This is a beautifully composed post-- pure poetry in word & image! I love that you are posting on a regular basis Milla-- if I have not already said that about a million times. I wish I had equally poetic responses to your lovely posts, but sometimes I just don't. I just enjoy reading and absorbing. But, you're in luck because I had some coffee this morning... and if I do say so myself I think that D. and I are a pretty tight "we." We've been together for many years now (14 years?), so we pretty much grew up together. That helped us to really become a good team, because we went through things together, and therefore we can really sympathize/respect the other person's position pretty often. I feel pretty lucky for "us" in that regard. Great sweater too, by the way !

  14. I'm not at a place in my life where I have a partner, something I hope will change in the future. It's not even really something I can say to ever have experienced since my previous relationships were far from healthy and far from equal, not really deserving the title of partnerships. You seem to have found a nice way for you both to work with something that neither of you excels at. I love all the photos in your post though, the moss, the bird in the air, all the little details. I get you with the brewing weather calming you too, there's just something about the world doing its thing, announcing its intentions, and the anticipation for what you know is coming.