cosmic things

On our second or third night in Viljandi, we went to visit two friends of ours, a musician and a poet, who live around the corner. The musician plays homemade instruments, including a large wooden phallus stuck with nails that he saws at with a violin bow in order to produce an industrial, maritime vibe, while crooning like a humpback whale in high and low pitches over the metallic droning. The poet’s poems are thick with references to nature — animals, plants, phenomena. She talks about flora and fauna for which I’m not even sure there are English words. Does she really know these plants and animals, or does she just have botany and zoology books on her desk, to select random terms from when she gets tired of expressing her feelings?

The funny aspect, is that by Viljandi standards, these two individuals are normal. That same night, we were visited by a man with a long billy goat’s beard who is known locally as “Beard,” and “Beard” (or its Estonian equivalent) just might be his real name. When he entered, he gave me a hug. Beard was talking to us about Yin and Yang energy, and he was serious. “You mean like on the flag of South Korea?” I asked, puzzled. “Yes, for example,” Beard gestured in a mystical teacher kind of way. As I recall, the world is divided up into masculine and feminine energies. Lakes have one kind, rivers have another. “You’ll notice that when you are standing beside a lake, it’s quite a different feeling from when you are standing beside a river,” Beard went on … All eyes were on him.

I thought my Swedish friend Erland was exempt from Viljandi’s far out worldview, but the other day while grilling in the yard, he began staring into the wisps of the clouds and talking about aliens. “And you know what they say, that the aliens are actually us, that we are coming back in time to study ourselves …” I could see the white fluffy 11 pm clouds in his eyes. “Oh,” he rubbed them. “I had a dream about this the other night. It was such a cool, cool dream. I told Lea all about it …Goddamn flies, it’s like the second you put some grilled fish out, they’re all over it.” “Where is Lea?” “Don’t worry, she’s coming, she’s coming, Oh, go away stupid flies, go away …{he waves them away} … Now what was I saying about the aliens?”


6 thoughts on “cosmic things”

  1. Perhaps it's time to get out of bohemian Old Town and move into the quiet suburban life of Uueveski or Paalalinn. You could also live like the majority Estonians and buy yourself an apartment in a big 'paneelmaja' like the ones in Männimäe. 🙂


  2. Majority of Estonians don't live in blocks of flats, majority of Estonias Russians, however…

    I love this town. It's as harsh as Arctic winter yet it's as mellow as Mediterranean summer. You've got all sorts round here. People from wall to wall, sort of speak.

    Viljandi is one of those dirty old towns where you move to to make your mark, yet in the end you find yourself being stamped and moulded instead.

    I'm glad you noticed the conspiracy theory thingy. It's a definite ice breaker when making new friends – everyone has got one, they take deeper interest in. Its all light hearted though, a form of a hobby. Even my partner has got one now, since we blocked all the Russian channels and all we're left with really is some major American trashy tv – ancient aliens? Why not! 🙂


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