Sunday, 26 March 2017
church and arson, a year later
This one's a bit of different one, and I feel like this is a bit of a sad post, but I wanted to share these photos anyway. Even if you don't fancy reading this since it's not something that most/all of you will feel, at least the photos turned out pretty great! It's taken me some time to get around to this too, and for once not merely because I tend to be a lazy blogger/person. I just wasn't sure what to write and whether I wanted to write anything or not. But I suppose I do. Mostly this was just a wee cathartic writing experience, without any answers or hidden epiphanies. I'd also just like to add that I wrote most of this a year ago, but still wanted to post it today. In the grand scheme of things this was something quite small, and worse things have definitely happened since. This is also a classic case of caring more about things that hit closer to home, which I wish I wasn't as guilty of as I am. But perhaps, I'll start talking about more pressing matters as well.
The end of April and beginning of May last year I visited Ylivieska (Finland) and for me a big part of the trip was visiting the remains of the church there. (And another part was the funeral I briefly mentioned a year ago as well, so what a fun trip!) The church was burnt down just before Easter, exactly a year ago today, and still in April/May (2016) it felt strange that it wasn't there. My mum and her family are from Ylivieska and while everyone in Finland was talking about the arson, it didn't feel as if it meant that much to most people. And, really, it doesn't, it was only a building. Yet, I felt so much more affected by it all than I ever thought I would. I wasn't home when I heard the news, so my first reaction was just disbelief, but as soon as I got home I literally felt like crying. And I say that as someone who doesn't cry all that much and definitely wouldn't admit to it even if I had cried (Spoiler alert, I did cry.).
I might say that I'm a church-going person (which I don't really talk about that much on the blog or in real life..), but that wasn't really why the events saddened me. As far as I've understood it wasn't even a hate crime in that way, although those happen far too often and are always sad/enraging no matter who they are committed against. I had only been to the church in Ylivieska a handful of times. But those times I'd been there with my grandparents (and mum). I knew the exact spot my grandpa used to sit at when he was a wee boy and literally everyone would feel obliged to attend church. And it was to this church we did one of our last outings with my grandma after grandpa died and before she was moved into a nursing home for the short period of time she lived there. Little things like that just made - and still make - it feel like links to the past and my memories have been taken away from me to some extent. Like there's less and less places to remind me of my grandparents and heritage, especially since my grandparents' house and farm aren't somewhere we ever go after they died. So to me it was closely linked to all those feelings. Not to mention how grieved and annoyed I am when any kind of building, monument or thing of historical value is destroyed.
I find it hard to express what the church and it burning meant to me and how I felt, not least because I felt a lot of emotions (and because it happened a few months back/a year from writing this). More than anything, I think I was tired. It definitely made me have one of those moments when I realize how hateful a place the world can be and how incredibly awful humans are towards each other, themselves and the environment around them. More than anything, it made me dislike and distrust everyone and everything a bit more. And even though the world is amazing and people can be too, it's sometimes just so tiring that things like this and worse things happen far too often for us to remember that the world is beautiful and that people can be good.
xoxo Laura Jones at 1:00 pm