Voice over text to Day with Malla (text)
How to be here with Malla? How do you speak to a mountain, asked the cloud? How do you greet a fell, I ask, and wonder how to express one’s admiration to a giant? Malla Fell stands at the northern shore of Lake Kilpis, in the thumb of Finland, and looks elegant in its snow cover and birch hair. I see it in front of me standing on the ice. How to be here in the cold with Malla, on the ice, in the snow, under the open sky? The ice on the lake connects us and helps in approaching, but the closer I step, the greater Malla becomes. Only from afar can I even imagine seeing the whole of it. And still I see only one side. What if it is a mountain troll and conjures me into an ice statue in the middle of the lake, a stumbling block for snowmobile drivers. Or what if it is a mountain sprite, which presents me with three riddles, and crushes me with a boulder if I don’t know the correct answer. Or if it is merely sleeping and does not want to be disturbed. –
If everything is moving, then Malla is moving, too, albeit leisurely. But in what direction? Is it slowly rising after the weight of the ice age, or rather trickling down in small pieces along its slopes? Is it able to see the polar sea in the other direction, or does the lake suffice as its mirror? Does it enjoy the snowfall and the mist around is summit, or does it prefer the clear deep blue sky and the dazzling light?
My day with Malla occurs in the light days of springtime winter. I cannot image what the darkness feels like, or the nightless night, or the autumn, or even when the ice on the lake melts away. Perhaps Malla is beautiful only in its winter furs and melts in with the other fells and hills in summertime. What does it matter now, because now it is beautiful, right now. With Malla I learn what now really means. It means that everything can change in an instant, in an instant the clouds can fill the sky and a snowfall hides it from my sight, and I cannot see if it is still there or not. Of course I know it is there, if it disappeared it would not be a mountain, although I cannot see it in snow and mist.
How to be here with Malla, standing and watching, breathing and admiring, wondering in the wind, freezing in the darkening night? I come here for a moment and soon go away again, and do not know how to be here for the moment I am here. I return like a restless snowmobile driver, in my own traces. I remain the same, however, while Malla changes during the day, and the whole world of Malla as well. Maybe. Or perhaps rather the contrary. I am the one who leaves, and Malla is the one that stays…