I feel like writing down some thoughts that I carry now after this summer. It feels like some kind of a closure, I feel my private cycle of four years has now come to an end. The first year 2014 consisted of planning the project on the concrete level, but also on me beginning to put into words a process of personal growth that was already bearing fruit within me. The process was/is of course not done, nothing that grows ever is, but back then after some years of active processing and questioning I had reached some kind of goal post where it felt important to share what I found out with others. Thus, it became easy for me to write about our statement of the project, have a fire burning through my words on the subject of the feminine, its connection to nature, and embracing this connection that once felt lost. During 2015, the second year, the project started to flow, it gathered support I feel very grateful for, we spent time in creation in the forest and I felt like things were born effortlessly, like they were just waiting for someone to make them visible there in the woods. In the third year it was time for the premiere and the first shows. At the end of 2016 after our Helsinki performances I remember telling Viivi that the project has now moved on from me. It’s no longer mine, no longer for me. What this specific journey brought me to search for, I felt like I had found it. Now the focus would switch into sharing it for others, it was now theirs. This beautiful feeling continued through our tour in 2017. Every time I went to the woods I felt like I was preparing the table for the guests who would arrive soon, not anymore eating myself everything I could digest (on the metaphorical level, I ate as many blueberries, lingonberries, forest strawberries and raspberries I could possibly find…)
It feels good to look back a bit and wonder did I reach my personal goals with Metsä. At the end, as we decided to create a show made for touring that we wanted to be attractive for festivals to book, the script of it became quite fixed. This was a conscious compromise, that felt like the right one to make. Even though the feeling of freedom and flowing creativity I experienced during the first years did fade with it, looking at what we wanted to reach (manage to perform the show as much as possible) it feels like the right option, in comparison to keeping the content more improvised and completely new every time. This made me wonder a bit whether we were really managing to include the forest as a third performer for the project, or just harnessing the beauty of the nature as an attractive backdrop for ourselves. I really don’t know. It’s hard to draw the line, especially when your work is to perform for people. How much of this is really me sharing, how much is something inside me wanting attention?
If there is something that is crystal clear, it is that the forest and it’s undeniable power continue to shine long after we already became exhausted and gathered our ropes out from the trees. Bright Eyes says it so well: “The world requires no audience, no witnesses. No witnesses.”
As for building a stronger connection with nature for the people coming to see the performance, I can hope that we made a difference. I'm not sure if the performance alone is enough to plant a seed of harmony inside a viewer, but I really think that it’s some very good fertiliser for the ones who already carry the seed and some ground to grow on within them. As for the mission of making people be outdoors in the woods for an hour and a half, I count at least 910 successes. This summer it was 13 shows in total, and all of them were full booked (on average, we had several with overcapacity in people who came and a few with about 10-20 less than full). I think this was a great success both on the level that we managed to produce this tour ourselves with the festivals who booked us, and that every time we performed the audience showed interest in what we propose. And everyone was there, outside, experiencing nature.
On a personal level, I have now spent pretty much all my time since April outdoors. I lived in my van nearly all of the time, we prepared outdoors, performed outdoors, and the other show I toured with this summer is also a street show. I feel great because of this. Even though I could use a few nights of sleeping around the clock, I often feel like my body is carrying an energy load enough to fuel several people simultaneously. I was so happy to eat and enjoy all the forest treats fresh for over a month, I visited very beautiful festivals and saw great people who work hard for what they believe in. I am happy to live in this moment of looking back at the hard work we have done for the project, seeing it was good, cherishing this moment and believing that the future will also be good.