Love is a strange thing.
—Jean Sibelius to Aino Sibelius, 1892
[Tawaststjerna v. 1, Loc 2314-2326]
For some time now, I’ve been wanting to tell a tale about our visit to Ainola, where the Sibeliuses lived from 1904 until the death of Jean (1957, age 91) and Aino (1969, age 98). I’ve been flummoxed, though, about where to start. The thing is, there isn’t a single, straight-line narrative to be had. The story of Ainola isn’t a one story, but many, and even perspectives on the same strand of story conflict and multiply without cease. Continue reading