In 1947, Tove Jansson began one of her most famous and most challenging art projects ever. She was ordered to paint two large frescos to the dining room of the Helsinki city hall, by Erik von Frenckell. Tove began the ambitious work with passion to celebrate the time after war in Finland. Each step she reported to her “beloved Vifslan”, Vivica Bandler.
Vivica Bandler was Tove’s first female lover. Their love was passionate and all-consuming. Tove worshipped Vivica and described that loving her had changed everything. All things felt new and all feelings were more intense. And Tove was not shy about showing this love, even if she did it in secret (note, homosexuality was illegal in Finland until 1971 and listed as a disease until 1981).
One of the boldest and bravest gestures was in one of the frescos ordered by von Frenckell (Vivica’s father, actually).
The blonde woman smoking her cigarette is Tove herself and the dark-haired woman dancing behind her is Vivica. Painting them so close and so visible was a brave move on Tove’s part and served to fuel the rumours around them. Tove laid out her love for all the world to see, but in a careful way.
Tove and Vivica even appear in Moomin books; as Thingumy and Bob from Finn Family Moomintroll (1948). Their original Swedish names, Tofslan and Vifslan, give away the connection. These two speak in a secret language only they can understand and are running away from The Groke who wants to steal their precious gem; the most beautiful thing in the world. You do not need deep analysis to see what the story represents.
Eventually Tove’s and Vivica’s love ended like all quick and passionate love stories; to it’s own impossibility. Like with about all her lovers, Tove still remained friends with Vivica. Hot summer turned to cool autumn in the book and the frescos were finished.
Did you ever feel like Moominmamma was almost too perfect to be true? Well, reality is more amazing than you could believe as this perfect mother was actually based on a real person: Signe Hammarsten-Jansson (Ham), Tove Jansson’s beloved mother.
Ham was, according to all friends and neighbours, the image of a perfect mother and wife. She was born to a wealthy Swedish family, as a daughter of a priest. After falling in love with Tove’s father, Viktor Jansson, she moved with him to Finland. Even though living in a poorer, war-ridden country must have been hard for the young woman, she never complained. Instead she supported her husband’s career, loved her children dearly and was loved by them in return.
Ham can be described as the greatest love of Tove’s life. Mother and daughter were always close. Tove was always worried about her mother’s downtrodden place in the family (Viktor Jansson was not an easy personality to live with) and how she sacrificed everything for the family. Tove’s dream was to take Ham away from all of that. It was also her absolute love and devotion to her mother that prevented Tove from ever leaving Finland, as Ham was devoted to being with her hurband.
Ham was Tove’s first teacher and it’s said that in her lap, Tove learned to draw before she could even walk. Eventually young Tove would beging drawing political caricatures after her mother as a side for her aspirations as a painter.
The pain Tove felt after Ham’s passing can be felt in her book Moominvalley in November.
She watched the sun dance across the sky
She watched the sky bloom into cotton candy colors
She watched the clouds melt as the sun kissed them goodnight
She watched until the last hues turned grey
Finally at peace, to be under the same sky as him.
Today we’re working with the Ad Council (@lovehasnolabels) to spread the message that love has no labels, and to encourage everyone to treat each other equally—no matter their race, disability, sexuality, gender, or religion. If you have a story, photo, or any other kind of art that describes what “love has no labels” means to you, we want to see it. Post it with the tags #lovehasnolabels and #postitforward so everyone on Tumblr can find it.
Cas shrunk back from walking into the library at the sound
voice – for very good reasons.
He heard the unconvinced noise Mary made as she shrugged before replying.
“It broke the spell and saved the town – it’s not hard to
believe they’d do it… For the greater good.”
Sam still sounded agitated although Cas agreed with Mary –
and he should know better than them about it. “No, Mom, we were all in the room.
All the ritual asked for was a kiss… I mean what if all we needed to do was
something like me giving you a peck on the cheek? It was a vaguely phrased
“I suppose so…”
Sam had gone into full ranting mode – “And – even if it had to be a kiss on the mouth – Cas could
have kissed any of us. There were options. He could have kissed you, or, well,
he was standing right next to me when Dean read the thing out, and a lot of
people were going to die really soon. I’d take one for the team.”