I have yet to read Heinlen’s STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, but now that I have used the title I think I must.
I am familiar with the Doors though. “People are strange when you’re a stranger.” Jim Morrison was the dean of English at the University I attended and my advisor. I have felt the words and the meaning of the Jim Morrison song.
When I was younger I thought that writing was my way out. I thought I would be Herman Melville or Kurt Vonnegut. And at the age of 24 I graduated with a BA in English and thought the world would open up for me. Well, it didn’t. I mean, what can you do with a BA in English?
I did win some awards, have a radio play produced, produce a few of my own plays and was involved in radio and film, but, after a failed stint as a Life Insurance Salesman I ran away to India. I have lived and worked in numerous countries. In 2005 when I was filming a small documentary about the outsider in our society, a topic close to my heart, I met my wife. And she took me away from my misery and brought me to Finland. And that was the end of my career as a lonely struggling independent director (for some I have known only a good excuse for being unemployed) and the beginning of my life with a family. In Finland (as in lots of countries) there is a certain attitude towards immigrants that we come to steal the country’s jobs and women from the native population. Well, it is true. But I only want one woman and one job. Is that too much to ask?
As I write my wife is correcting my punctuation and I have forgotten what I have to say. So now she has gone away, as Wings screams over the Internet radio. Did I say I used to be a radio DJ?
“Heta, come back here please. I’ll turn the music down.” Well, Wings and Pablo Cruise. I think I’ll just turn it off altogether.
Anyway, in this blog I hope to explore, through writing, what life is all about, and to find my place as a stranger in a strange land. My family has locked me to one place and I can no longer run from myself. I have begun to establish things here, like The Helsinki Writing Circle, a wonderful international group of people. If we do not change the world with our writing, at least we will improve our own lives by discovering ourselves together. So now, after 20 years, I again feel the inspiration to write that I have felt in my youth. This blog will be full of poetry and song lyrics and observations from a Canadian living in Finland.
I feel like I have found a piece of myself again.
Oh, and today is my birthday. I am 48.