Friday, April 6, 2012
It's early January and the air at Helsinki airport is clean and cold. It smells of water and pine trees and snow.
It's dark. It'll be late before we're home again.
We've spent New Year's Eve in Prague, standing on the Charles Bridge while fireworks set the sky on fire. We rode trains through Germany, explored Berlin. And now we're back in Finland. The bus driver's laconic voice wishes us welcome home. Everything is okay, he says, we'll be in Turku before midnight.
There's a woman sitting a few rows behind us on the bus. She's crying. Loudly and inconsolably, as if her world has been torn apart and she has nothing left. She's in Finland, but she's not speaking Finnish. She's on the phone with someone, speaking in an exotic language, her voice thick with tears. In moments like this, I wish I wasn't so Finnish.
Finland is full of people minding their own business, observing, quietly ignoring. She sounds like she's all alone in the world and she's lost everything she ever cared about. I wish I could go to her, sit down next to her and ask her if there is anything I can do to help. But while the air is clean and smells of water and pines trees and snow, she's riding a bus in a country of a solitary people. A people who carries their burden alone. They will listen to you cry, they will feel your pain, but only from a distance.
For her, the bus is empty.
This post is a part of the 30 Days of Photographs II challenge. Please visit the rest of the participants for more fantastic photos: MikeWJ, Nicky and Mike, Mo, Meleah, John, aka nonamedufus, Bryan, aka Unfinished Person, Mariann, Malisa, Nora, LaughingMom, Tanya, Elizabeth A., 00dozo, Cheryl, Kristen, Pam and Katherine. *
Labels: 30 Days of Photographs II