This painting by Finnish artist Oila Salomaa is called, “Itku pitkästä ilosta” and it has a prominent spot in my home.
My Mom bought it for me in Finland several years ago, in a small village en route to my Aunt’s summer cottage in Savonlinna.
I didn’t know how to translate the title when I first saw it. But I instinctively knew what it was about.
“Itku pitkästä ilosta” is that moment when you are at a big, crazy party, trying to be charming and really live life in the moment. You are filled with zest! You’re a firecracker! You’re bringing out all your best jokes. You’re drinking pretty cocktails and throwing your head back in laughter.
But there’s a split second of recognition as you’re laughing. There’s a tiny flash of realization that life has suddenly turned to shit. You know it’s only a matter of time before the the sun rises the next day and you will wake up tired, sad and depressed. So you try to laugh even harder, be even wittier and more fabulous! Fuck depression! Fuck the harsh morning light! Fuck your impending self-loathing!
But it’s futile. The morning comes and so do the tears…Itku pitkästä ilosta: The Big Laugh Before The Big Cry.