Thursday, November 5, 2015

Instead of asking, "Who Moved My Cheese", Wilbo Asks, "Who Moved My Sampo"? He Sees Young Men Marching up Hancock @PureMichigan Hills Before Sunrise.

Who moved my Sampo? I have a friend I correspond with at length. I keep her posted on my day to day life. She hangs out with people whose typewriters are registered as weapons of mass correction. Politicians step out of line, corporations attempt to sell bad medicine in the market place. Her team goes to work on their typewriters and the lawyers hit the courts and the legislators hit the congressional floor running, usually for their political lives.

She talks about the book,... "Who moved my cheese"? Cheese is a good metaphor, although it compares humans to lab animals searching through mazes. One morning, I woke up and I imagined her asking from afar, "Who moved your Sampo"? She has a handsome voice that reminds me of times of Katherine Hepburn.

I've been pondering the question for two days, pondering assisted by two paintings I've found in the Wikipedia, The Defense of the Sampo and The Forging of the Sampo by Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931). To speak simply about the Sampo, it's a mill that grinds salt, flour and gold out of thin air. Reminds me of a day at my office desk. That's humor.

In the Kaleva, it functions as an important symbol to be pondered by scholars and anyone who happens to read the Finn's answer to the Odyssey and the Iliad. The Finns forged the Sampo. The Finns protected it. The Finns had to chase it when it was stolen and had to go on without it, destroyed in battle. The Sampo also serves as a MacGuffin to keep the action rolling. It's cheese in the mythic maze.

The Finns definitely had their cheese moved in World War II. On one side of the situation stood Hitler and he wanted to be friendly. Hitler flew in to celebrate his birthday once in Finland and Finland complied, asking Hitler to tell no one. On the other side of the situation stood the Soviet Union, and they wanted land and their subjects back. I hesitate to describe the cataclysm because thousands perished. The situation reminds me of a Finnish joke I read in National Geographic. A Finn chased by a bear jumped into a river. Swimming across, he saw the bear's wife waiting hungrily on the far side. Bear to the right, bear to the left, the Finn laughed. Why? Laughing leads to a long life. The Finns laughed until they cried and ultimately had to sign a surrender, a loss that left the country a sovereign nation.

This morning, I parked my car near the Finlandia campus and six young men came marching up the steps. I thought, "Members of the Finlandia University Lions? The ROTC?" They marched up another flight of steps without so much as acknowledging my presence. Their Sampo awaited one hundred or two hundred feet up the sloping hill of Hancock.

Let me finish here. It's time to grind my Sampo, now that I know where it awaits.

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