Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas, and Peace and Joy!

My table full of gifts – from Russia with love. I got this all from my angel Nikushka!

A Russian Orthodox Christian music CD called «Приидите,
поклонимся. Песнопения Божественной Литургии» (in
English: Come, Let Us Worship. Chants of the Divine Liturgy).

A little wooden box, made in Russia. Not only is it pretty, but it
smells very good: like bark and resin. My mother would have loved
this. She loved beautiful old fashioned objects like this – and so do I.

Yuri Gagarin exclusive collector's coin (Юрий Алексеевич
Гагарин Эксклюзивная коллекционная монета). Ура!!!!!

This year, we have "black Christmas" in Finland. That means, ground is black and we have no snow, except in Lapland. We have less than 5 hours of daylight, so it's very dark. Air temperature is about +2 °C or 36 °F by day. Abnormal weather at this time of the year. Too bad, because I love snow, and winter is my favorite season.

After all, it's a Christmas time, no matter whether it is black or white. Internal is more important than external. We can find a bigger light, inner light – Christ in our hearts. Christmas is the birthday of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. He brings the light into the darkness. Though the ground is black the whiteness can be in you.

This year, I'm going to spend Christmas alone again. Never mind, I used to live like a monk in his cell (in Russian: келья). Haha. Actually, I like this peace and silence around me. Last year, "my Russian angel" saved my Christmas by chatting back and forth with me. Finally, I didn't feel the loneliness at all.

There is a saying, "present but not present". But you can also be present even though you're not physically present. Presence is very subtle mental or spiritual experience. Time and space are not only dimensions, and physical world is not the only world we live in. Am I here if my heart is there, and where is love if she is not here with me? We have to admit, things like these are ultimately mysteries, at least not clear. For me, the physical things are not so important. I am a mystic at heart. I deeply feel, I'm a spirit already, not just after the death.

Besides, death doesn't really exist. The Bible says, "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive" (The Gospel of Luke 20:38). Lord himself says, "Whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (The Gospel of John 11:26). Now this is very radical statement, and I believe it's true.

To being more down-to-earth, these days I'm going to read a lot and watch some nice movies (like old Disney and Soviet cartoons) and chat with my angel. What I am reading? A Russian short stories, chapters of the Bible, and the Finnish children's book called Joulupukki (in English: Santa Claus) written and drawn by Mauri Kunnas. I got that book as a Christmas gift when I was 11 years old. So this is very nostalgic reading experience for me.

Christmas is the celebration of peace and joy that light up the whole world. On Christmas night, the angels said to the shepherds, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people... Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased" (The Gospel of Luke 2:10, 14).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016 to all my friends! (^—^)

"Christ is born! Glorify Him!" (A traditional Orthodox Christian Christmas greetings.)


A later addition:

Christmas Gifts from Nika

A few days after Christmas, I received a huge parcel from my Russian angel Nika. The parcel included many kinds of lovely gifts: souvenirs and decorative items, like different sorts of boxes (also a wooden box), a wooden mug, a beautiful Moscow plate, a Russian tablecloth, three bars of chocolate, a lollipops, a tea pack, a refrigerator magnets and postcards, Ded Moroz (in English: Grandfather Frost, in Finnish: Pakkasukko) and Snegurochka (in English: The Snow Maiden, in Finnish: Lumityttö) figure candles, and a beautiful Russian spiritual music CD. My absolute favorite is the exclusive collector's coin of Yuri Gagarin (Nika knows I'm a fan of Gagarin and I love all kinds of space stuff)! ^^

Wow, these are my best Christmas gifts for years! Feels like I'm a child again. :) Thank you very much, my sweet angel. You are the best, and I love you! Большое спасибо, ангел мой! Я люблю тебя! ♥


(Updated December 31, 2015.)

First snow on my home street, November 22.

A beautiful frozen tree in my neighborhood.

Christmas icon or the Eastern Orthodox icon of the birth of Christ.

A Finnish picture book called Joulupukki (in English: Santa Claus)
by Mauri Kunnas. I got this book as a Christmas gift when I was
11 years old. Ah, that was so long ago... and still like yesterday.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Update on My Life

Me in Vaasa, September 2015, in front of the statue of Toivo Kuula, a
famous Finnish conductor and a composer. I love his beautiful music.

Hello, my friends! ( ^.^)ノ Sorry for the long silence. For the past couple of months, I've been busy, or just lazy when it comes to writing my blog. So, now it's time to share my news since last summer.

To be honest, my summer wasn't very happy. In my life, bad things have always happened in summer. Last summer, I had to live in the shadow of fear. I visited my doctor many times, because there was something wrong with my blood. Lymphocyte levels were elevated (and they still are), which means that everything is not completely normal. That's why they kept testing my blood over and over again, for many months.

The doctor said it could even be leukemia! For a while, I was really nervous and scared. The thought of death was on my mind all the time, and that's not such a nice way to spend your summer. Life is so unpredictable, and nothing should be taken for granted in this world. I asked myself, am I going to die? They did a bone marrow examination on me in the hospital. It was a somewhat painful examination, but not as bad as I had thought.

Finally, the doctor told me that there are no signs of any malignant disease. Thank God, and thanks for the prayers of my "Russian angel", who prayed and prays for me every day! Some time ago, she requested daily prayers for me in the Moscow monastery. It's really great, and I'm grateful for that! Of course, I also pray for my angel every day. I really believe in the power of prayer.

What else am I doing? Last summer, I did a special Mannerheim guided tours for the museum (please click here to read more about the Marshal Mannerheim, who is called the greatest Finn of all time).

In addition to that, I've been working as a karaoke host in the local pub for a couple of months. It's an interesting and challenging job and not always as easy as it might seem. I would have never believed that one day I would be working as a karaoke host. That, anyway, is what I ended up doing last July when I was asked to take over this job. And I will do my best at it, although I'm already looking for a new job that would be more suitable for me.

These days, I'm okay, my spirit is high and my faith is strong. I've completely stopped drinking alcohol – not even a beer anymore, not for four months. I'm working, I'm reading a lot, and spending time with my friends.

What kind of literature have I been reading lately? Russian classics, non-fiction (mainly history and politics), thrillers, religious texts and spiritual literature... My favorite book this year thus far has been Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Pelurit (in Finnish; in Russian: Игрок; in English: The Gambler), which was first published in 1866. At the moment, I'm reading Konstantin Paustovsky's short stories. Nature and its beauty are in the heart of his humane tales. The book is named Venäjän sydänmailla (in Finnish; in Russian: Во глубине России, in English: In the depths of Russia).

I'm thankful to God and to my friends for everything. Orthodox Christianity is very important to me, it's the foundation of my whole life. "Everything is in the hands of God, and we are instruments in His hands as well." I learned this from my Russian angel.

Blessings and all the best to my friends! Keep your faith, love and be loved, and never lose your hope. (^—^)


(Updated November 17, 2015.)

Me surrounded by museum visitors on a Mannerheim tour.

Hot air balloons above my home last August. The photo is taken from
my balcony.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Finding the Way

A selfie of me, taken a few years ago. 武士 is kanji for bushi
 ("warrior"). It has been "my character" since 2007.

Goodbye, goodbye –
how long it takes to say?
A part of me is going to die
and to find a way
out from a farewell
when heart is an empty shell
it may take longer
until you get stronger
to live without love –
poor, misleading love.

A poem by Teisuka

I add here also a passage from my previous book because it reflects my feelings at the moment:

"I started to think: where are all the angels when horrible things happen? I replied to myself: they are on the walls of nurseries and on the pages of picture books as beautiful, powerless images. All we have are pictures. Devotedly painted icons and carefully constructed images. It is said that God created man in his own image, as an icon of Him, but people have created gods in their own images, for better or for worse. The harder you believe in those pictures, the more real they become. Images dominate us. All kinds of images. Recollections. Mental images. Idols. Gods. And the picture of her."
(Translated from the Finnish by Gilmore)

P.S. A later additions:

July 7, 2015. The text above was written at the moment of weakness, for years ago. I haven't lost my faith, though it has been weak lately. Of course, I still believe in God. When I write, "people have created gods in their own images", I'm talking about the false gods and idols or graven images. ~Teisuka

August 13, 2015. The poem actually tells about my past goodbyes (at least, for the most part). Besides, I don't know how definitive word is 'sayonara' ("goodbye" in Japanese language). More, I like a Russian word 'dasvidaniya', which also means "goodbye" but literally, "until we meet again"... Once, Buddha drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: "When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle." – I believe in these mystical words. Very wise and profound. And I will make a new update here, when I feel stronger and I know my health is fine. Right now, nothing is self-evident, and I don't know anything. ~Teisuka

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Packets Back and Forth Between Russia and Finland

Finnish tin soldiers with submachine guns, snowsuits,and the flag of Finland.
Wow, I can't find such toys from Finland! I feel like I'm a little boy again! :)

It seems that me and my Russian friend Nika have a common hobby: we are sending packets back and forth. As I have playfully said, we have like a neverending Christmas. Just a few days ago, I received a packet from Russia – once again. Thank you very much, my dear Nikushka! Большое спасибо, милая моя! (^—^)

The parcel included many kinds of lovely gifts – to be exact, Victory Day souvenirs (Russian military and patriotic stuff): a Victory Day T-shirt, a variety of Victory Day chocolate candies and a Victory Day fancy cake (very tasty!), a Victory Day refrigerator magnet, a small Victory Day flag, St. George ribbons, and two cute keychains... In my opinion, the best gifts are the Finnish tin soldiers! Well, that's natural, because I'm a Finnish man and a patriot, haha. ^_^

You can see all the gifts in this article. I'll also post here some pictures of my gifts to Nika. (You can click the images to see them bigger.)

For those who don't know, Victory Day (9 May) marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the part of World War II that is known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). Victory Day is a national holiday in Russia. The festivities culminate in a military parade at Moscow's Red Square.

Two weeks ago, I also sent a parcel to Nika, including many little gifts: a music CD (Nightwish), two scarves, two postcards, a toiletry bag, a vanity case, makeup products... Earlier, I sent her some gifts too, like a cute soft toy bear (see the picture below).

Again, thank you so much for your Victory Day parcel, Nikushka! You always make me happy, and you really are too kind to me. ( ̄ー ̄)

Finally, happy spring to all my friends! I wish everyone had someone they love in their life. The Bible says, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18).

Blessings from sunny Finland,


St. George ribbons and Victory Day chocolate. A red star includes candies, too. St. George
ribbon (Георгиевская ленточка браслет) is a symbolic ribbon, dedicated to the
celebration of Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War.

More Victory Day candies, chocolate and souvenirs, and twokeychains, for example the
three mascots of the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi. (Sorry, the flag is shown the
wrong way round – as a mirror image.)

Victory Day fancy cake. Please note the tank in the cake.
Nika knows I like the tanks so much I could eat them – yummy! :D

Very special Victory Day chocolate with the coat of arms of
the Russian Federation (the two-headed eagle). This is so
beautiful that I dare not even eat it!

T-shirt by Армия России (Russian Army).
Whoa, I'm in the Red Army now?! Xa-xa. ^^

Earlier, I sent this cute soft toy bear to Nika. The bear is named Umka.
The brown bear is the national animal in both Russia and Finland.

Two scarves (red and multicolored) which I sent to Nika.

My gifts to Her, for example a music CD. Nightwish is
symphonic metal band from Finland.

A toiletry bag and a vanity case, both design stuff.

A toiletry bag opened: full of women's stuff, like makeup
products... for my angel! ^^

Two postcards – from Finland with love.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Gifts from Russia

A wooden Matryoshka doll, height 17 cm.

Matryoshka set in a row. One Matryoshka includes a set of
wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other.

I've been a little bit sick for the past few days. That's why my Easter update is late – but better late than never. I regret that I did not have the opportunity to visit Church this Easter at all. >< Here is no Orthodox Church in my city. The closest church is quite far, in Vaasa. So this was very different Easter to me. In the spiritual sense, my Easter was a poor. I haven't "skipped" the Easter Church for years...

On the other hand, my Easter was a very rich. Before that setback, I had a very pleasant surprise last week. I received two (!) huge parcels from my dear Russian friend Nika!

The parcels included many kinds of beautiful items: Matryoshka doll, two porcelain icons, three Russian T-shirts, a dark Russian chocolate, chocolate fondant, traditional Khokhloma folk art (a painted wooden bowl, scoop, and cutting board), a Matryoshka pencil (crayon), stickers for Easter eggs and decorative stand for Easter eggs, a refrigerator magnets, Moscow postcards, Easter bags, keychain(s), a cute oven mitten... (Please see the pictures on this article.)

Wow – so many lovely gifts that made me happy! Thank you very much, my dear Nikushka! Большое спасибо, ангел мой! (^—^)You are too kind to me. I feel that I have not deserved this... You yourself are Heaven's gift to me – a real treasure! ♥

Still a few things about Easter. Finland's Orthodox Christians mark Easter on the Western date, and this year it was April 5. Most of the Orthodox churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar. So, for example Russian people will celebrate Easter on 12 April. Belated Easter greetings to all my friends! And I'm going to celebrate another Easter together with Nika. Праздником Пасхи! ^^


P.S. A Prayer Request. A father of a dear friend of mine is a very seriously ill. It's a horrible disaster and shock to this family! Life is so unexpected, indeed, and that's why it's very valuable, too. I request all my friends to pray for my friend's father. May God ease his suffering, and may God heal him! We all should to remember this: Cherish your loved ones as long as you have them!

Two porcelain Orthodox icons.

Matryoshka pencil (crayon), a refrigerator magnets(Muscovite church, Gagarin, Putin),
cute keychains, e.g. The Olympic Mishka, and wonderful Khokhloma folk art.

Stickers for Easter eggs and decorative stand for Eastereggs (all this has a pattern of
traditional Russian crafts).

Moscow postcards and a cute oven mitten.

A chocolate fondant and a dark chocolate with a specific taste, 72 % cocoa.
 It is very high-quality chocolate called «Победа» (English: "Victory").

These days, Putin T-shirt is trending worldwide. It is very cool
and I am proud to own it. :)

A beautiful Gagarin T-shirt. Gagarin was a Russian Soviet cosmonaut,
and the first human to journey into outer space in 1961.

One more T-shirt with the slogan "I love Russia" – and so I do! ^^

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Becoming a Member of the Patriotic Association

The Finnish dragoons in the city of Lappeenranta, in 1999.

Just a short update this time, since I have some news to tell. One week ago, I became a member of The Dragoon Guild (Finnish: Rakuunakilta). The Finnish Dragoon squadron exists in conjunction with the Army Academy in Lappeenranta and continues the tradition of the former 1. Squadron of the Uusimaa Dragoon battalion.

The Uusimaa Dragoon battalion was formed during the Finnish Civil War in 1918 at this city where I live. General Mannerheim (1867-1951) called it "my regiment". The Dragoon Guild is a proud traditional association for the patriotic men. You can find their website here (click the blue word).

Well, I have no horse and I am not even a cavalryman (my military rank is a jaeger or light infantryman), so I think I am more like a supporting member in this association. Anyway, I am glad to be a member in "Mannerheim's regiment"!  ( ̄ー ̄)

By the way, my ancestor was a Swedish sergeant  who came to Finland in 1721, after The Great Northern War. In that war, Finnish dragoons were usual. The first Finnish dragoons (also called as hakkapeliittas) were in the service of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden during the Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648).


A legendary Finnish General Mannerheim was a cavalryman
all his life. Before he returned back to his homeland, he served
a long time in the Chevalier Guard regiment, in Russia.

An old drawing of the Finnish "hakkapeliitta"
or cavalryman in the 17th century.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

From Russia with Love

A crystal angel bell made in Gus-Khrustalny (handmade Russian
rock crystal). All photos by Teisuka.

On this week, I had a birthday (February 11), and I received a big parcel from my dear Russian friend Nika.

The parcel included many kinds of lovely gifts: a crystal angel bell made in Gus-Khrustalny (handmade Russian rock crystal), Matryoshka doll, a wooden scoop (traditional Khokhloma folk art), a tasty Russian chocolate called «Бабаевский», a lollipop (lol), a refrigerator magnets with a beautiful images, a keychain (a little Matryoshka doll), a Russian doll with a national costume, and even Russian stamps (when I was a little boy, I collected stamps, and she knew that).

Oh my God, what an amazing and wonderful gifts! I was really touched when I saw all those gifts. My dear, thank you for making my birthday so happy and special in many ways! Crystal angel bell is the best – it is really lovely! As I have said many times before, you really are an angel sent to me by God. And once again, you made my day!

Большое спасибо, ангел мой! Милая моя, ты всегда в моих мыслях. Я люблю тебя! (^—^)

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends, and thank you for being here! Love above all! 


A Russian wooden scoop (traditional Khokhloma folk art)
and a beautiful birthday card.

All kinds of lovely little stuff: a lollipop, a refrigerator
magnets with a beautiful images, a keychain (a little
Matryoshka doll)...

A tasty Russian chocolate called «Бабаевский». I just
ate it, before I wrote this article. See... ahem... I'm mad
about chocolate. :D

A collection of Russian stamps.

A traditional Russian Matryoshka doll (left)
and Russian doll with a national costume.

Friday, January 23, 2015

That We Become Snow

Tonight, after a long time, I wrote a poem. It's my first poem this year. I had a very inspired feeling: I felt that I was surrounded by winter, snow, and love. Besides, I felt the presence of God – that someone very dear was praying for me. Forgive me, I'm a an incurable romantic. ( ̄ー ̄)

O, my love – Snow Maiden of mine!
Our pleasure is to enjoy winter together
just by walking around the snowy streets,
taking pictures and building snowmen,
laughing and playing snowball fight,
smile on cold lips, warmth in hearts
just walking so far that we become snow.

Now two floating snowflakes rise up to the sky.
Oh my – so far below us is the restless world!
This fragile dream might be the place we belong.

A poem by Teisuka (January 23, 2015)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Update

Arctic morning, January 5. Photos by Teisuka.
(Click the pictures to see them bigger.)

Hello again, my friends! This is my winter update. First of all, I want to wish a Merry Christmas to my dear Russian friend Nika. Again, thanks for your lovely Christmas gift (a video on YouTube)! Let this winter article be my little Christmas gift to you. С Рождеством Христовым, мой Снегурочка! (^—^)/

Just for information to all, Christmas in Russia (Рождество Христово) is celebrated on 7 January and marks the birthday of Jesus. Christmas is mainly a religious event in Russia. 6 January is the Christmas Eve. A Russian Christmas is so "late", because the Russian Orthodox Church use the Julian Calendar. The Finnish Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas on December 25. Thanks to my Russian friend, I have two Christmas (or one very long). Ура! ヘ( ^.^)乂( ^.^)ノ

During the long Christmas holidays, I've been watching old cartoons: Disney classics and Soviet animation films. I love them both. Here is one of my favorite – I found it through Nika: Umka, an old Soviet animation film from the year 1969. A length is only 10 minutes, and it has the English subtitles. (Click the video below.)

Umka, the little polar bear, and his mom.

The last few days, I have met my friends Mr. Doyle and Mr. Proletarian (both are nicknames, because they are shy and suspicious guys, haha). Seriously speaking: thank you, guys – we had a lot of fun together. :)

Yesterday morning, I was walking with my camera and I took some pictures again. Thank God, we have a real winter here. Right now, air temperature is -17 °C (1.4ºF) and snow depth is 15 cm. I really like this kind of weather.

By the way... if YOU like winter and snow, I would recommend you a great novel called Winter's Tale written by Mark Helprin in 1983. It is one of the best books I have ever read! The book is also translated into Russian and Finnish. Winter's Tale is very imaginative and fabulous novel, and wonderful love story as well. Genre is "magical realism". The film adaptation was released in 2014. Here is a description of the book, which I found from the web:

Set in New York at the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, Winter´s Tale unfolds with such great narrative force and beauty that a reader can feel that its world is more real than his own. Standing alone on the page before the book begins are the words, I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me. In that world, both winter and the city of New York (old and new) have the strength and character of protagonists, and the protagonists themselves move as if in a vivid dream. Though immensely complicated, the story is centered upon Peter Lake, a turn-of-the-century Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young heiress whom he encounters in robbing her house, and who eventually will die young and in his arms. His love for her, and a gift of grace, will allow him after the most extraordinary and painful explorations and discoveries to stop time and bring back the dead. To follow him, his predecessors, his inheritors, and his companions is to experience one of the great stories of American literature.

Again, a Happy New Year to all my friends! \(^ ^)/

Best greetings from cold and snowy Finland,


This is one of the best books I have ever read.

A winter moment in the park.

The old water tower in my neighborhood.

A view from my balcony.

Frozen trees.

OMG, one of these is my bike! Maybe it's better to walk. :D