Journeying Finland from Jyvaskyla to Helsinki by dream memory regression, greenYgrey had time for a little side trip further back into its rambling past around Oz, as well as its fishy tales earlier on the current Euro hike. Then it remembered it had become enmeshed in the Kalevala, Finland’s collection of epic myths and legends.
That reminded it of its Lord of the Rings adventures, as Tolkien was supposed to have been influenced by the Kalevala amongst many other European folk tale traditions. Moreover, there’s even time for some light-hearted place name wordplay comedy. Talking of light-hearted, Love is also involved a little; well, it is only a vole after all.
However, there’s no poetry in this episode, so this has of course been G.G. Howling, fantasy fiction correspondent at the greenYgrey inspired by Harry Potter wizard fiction writing legend J.K. Rowling.
XaW Files Chapter 2 Episode 8
‘I didn’t recognise you at first with your fin on!’
I’d been savouring my dream returning me to my reunion with Stella, but when it returned to her above observation I was reminded of my pre-Helsinki fantasy travel. Love and I had swum down from the central lakes around Jyväskylä, and I had shapeshifted into a perch for the journey.
We had been attracted to Jyväskylä by the two Ys in its name, as well as it being the largest city in central Finland and Finnish Lakeland.
Having journeyed back another day or two my mind relaxed, jumping back a few years to when I last remembered leaving a fin on after shapeshifting, off Margaret Rivers at the start of my Werewolf of Oz epic trek across all regions of Australia.
Then my memory shifted way forward from there, and away from shapeshifting; to my other notable fishy adventures on this Eurasia adventure, the Chelyabinsk statue and Kamchatka Peninsula Karaginsky Island rock fish.
Jyvaskyla to Helsinki
I remember that when we were approaching Helsinki we’d wanted to see Porvoo’s old town, but there was a low mist on the river, so we had a poor view.
What we could see still looked nice though, and the water was spring fresh in a city with ambitions to be the most energy-efficient city in Finland.
We had stopped for a rest break in Lahti, and I had a latte after shapeshifting out from perchdom. I’d thought a mixture of fishy circumstances and corny joke was too much for one mouthful!
Jyvaskyla to Kalevala
I had entered Jyvaskyla from the north-west, still in a state of Kalevala. That’s it, I had become a perch in Jyvaskyla to escape the Kalevala and return to the XaW Files.
The Kalevala is not a valley full of highly nutritious kale, it is a collection of Finnish myths, with many thought to be of Estonian origin. That would explain how our Finland and Estonia journeys have become enmeshed as one here in the second chapter of our epic Euro travel quest.
It is said that Tolkien was influenced by the Kalevala for some of his Lord of the Rings fantasy world, and I could see now that Love and I had entered the Lord of the Rings Kalevela world to forge a new chapter or two in the telling of the tales.
Escaping Kalevala’s Kullervo
However, I could sense that it had been a difficult journey for Love and me, as indeed it was for the hobbits in Lord of the Rings.
And my awakening memory of the Kalevala character we escaped in Jyvaskyla did indeed remind me of the Smeagol/Gollum creature we’d encountered in Oz.
His name was Kullervo, and he has been interpreted as the only irredeemably tragic character of Finnish folk tales.
However, unlike Gollum, who was turned evil by the corrupting One Ring, Kullervo was born to be bad.