Sunday, September 30, 2012

All Beauty, All Over

I am having an immensely difficult time writing this blog, you should know.  Much like New Zealand often renders me speechless, apparently so does Iceland.  

I do no think that even in my most profoundly eloquent moments I could adequately describe this city of Reykjavik.  It is a bit like magic.  I walk, I glance, I am utterly enchanted.  Literally -I am under the spell of this city.  Her pull is one of Nature meets Nordics meets... Well, meets me.  

I have taken the past two days to acquaint myself with the city in all of her early fall Grandeur.  And grand she is.  Perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word- but grand she is.  I have tried endless times to capture what it is that so infuses itself in my bloodstream, what captures my imagination and breath so efficiently and entirely, about this place.  I have yet to come up with anything other than... it is a true collision.  History, Nature, Man. 

Today my goal was to see the major churches in the city, the major (religious) holy spots.  I wandered to and fro, capturing images of cathedrals and cemeteries alike.  What struck, and continues to strike me, most was this compelling notion of Man imposing on Nature to build this settlement, this city, even while nature triumphantly refuses to be imposed on.  It is a peaceful sort of odds they have achieved.  Taking, giving, enhancing, allowing.  It's beautiful to see the harmoniousness of the bargain struck.  

Potentially the best example of this is the mighty Hallgrimskirkja- that immense church so often used in magazine ads for Reykjavik.  Until you see it in person, it does seem a bit... well.. hammy, for lack of a better term.  It seems silly.  Like all this cement just plopped in the middle of town for no other purpose than to impress tourists.

Instead it is something else entirely.  It is what happens when Nordic design and sensibility collides with spirituality and religiosity.  It is immense and powerful, and so boldly Icelandic.  Seeing it up close was as moving as anything else I have experienced in my travels so far... and we all know how much it means for me to say that.  Especially considering my longstanding schism (to say the least) with organized religion.

I don't know how to describe any of this because I'm not sure I have experienced it anywhere else on earth.

Until next time, I do so hope this offers enough to keep you all coming back for more.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Early Morning, September 28

This morning I watched the sun rise in Iceland.  I watched it rise while huddled inside my fleece vest and down jacket just outside of Reykjavik International Airport in Keflavik (not to be confused with Reykjavik Domestic Airport... in Reykjavik).

And what a perfect sunrise it was.

I am having trouble deciding on a title for this post- a line of thought not entirely unrelated to the previous sentence.  I could call it 'The Perfect Sunrise,'- but no, that's too Hemingway, and too pretentious.  I could call it 'The Morning After the Sleepless Night, 30,000 Feet Above Sea Level,'- but no, that's too much a mouthful.

What I have seriously considered settling on is 'The Salt of the Earth.'  Because when you step outside of the airport, you don't just smell clean, clean, unreasonably clean! air, you smell clean air with a lick of salt riding the wind.  This is an island- of course you can smell salt.  But I believe the difference here, as opposed to any other salt-ridden air I have scented, is the age of it.  The landscape here (yes I realize the pretentiousness of this statement considering I have been 'here' not even a full 24 hours) is saturated with time, with age, with tradition and ancient meaning.  This land defines the word 'primordial.'

God how INTENSE it is.  How intense that first impression was.  To the point that it no longer qualifies as an impression but instead as an imprint that is lingering in every fiber of my being.  Yes, I am dramatic.  But let's face it- that's why you read this blog.  

And that is why you keep reading it even though (while it occasionally fronts as a travel blog) I rarely post photos.  Here I must admit that while I am dramatic, I am nothing if not brutally honest.  And in all honesty, I took incredibly shit photos today.  Which is somewhat disappointing considering I did the one touristy thing that everyone does in Iceland- I visited and had a dip in the Blue Lagoon. I even gave myself a silica mud facial.

So simple written descriptions will have to suffice again, my Friends.

Much love to you all, from my outpost here in the North.

ps. Spellcheck just suggested that while I wrote 'Keflavik', I probably meant 'Cleavage'.  Which should, realistically, be the working title of the post.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thank You All...

Tomorrow Tomorrow...

Tomorrow I leave for a three week adventure through Iceland.  ICELAND!  This place that I have wanted to visit since I was a wee wee lass.  This place that has captured every bit of young and naive romance in my young and naive heart.

This place... THIS PLACE!!  How do I contain what I feel for Iceland and all that it stands for in my short and completely ridiculous life?  How do I not fall off the plane and kiss the chilly yet vibrant ground?  How do I not make a complete and utter fool of myself?  How do I not act the way I always act... especially when I am confronted by something that utterly fascinates, enraptures, and captures me...?

There's no way.

And yet, before I lose myself completely (and run the risk of never returning stateside...) I have to say that I have never felt more loved or more lucky than I do as my friends and family send me off on this particular traipse.  What a Life I have, what Love I receive from all those around me.

And for that I am utterly grateful- beyond what any of you could possibly imagine.

So before I go, I say Thank You.  Thank you all for having some vague impression of faith in me and my abilities.  Thank you all for your support.  For your grace and good vibes.  And most importantly, thank you all for your Love.

Your love, my love, all love.

See you soon, Kiddos. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Witches' Thanksgiving

Some call it Mabon.  But most are likely to recognize it as the Autumn Equinox.

Fall officially begins today.  And in all of it's golden glory, we witches celebrate by giving thanks for the passing of time, passing of knowledge, and the sharing that takes place.  We harvest, collect, gather, and glory in the traditions.

The fall is such a bittersweet time- there is an abundance of activity and a wealth of fine traditions... and yet it is also when the first stirrings of the cold season appear.

Regardless... Happy Thanksgiving, Friends. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Fall Favorites List

In honor of the upcoming Equinox (In case you are curious, We Witches call it Mabon) I have put together a list of my current Autumnal Obsessions...

Fall Fall Fall Flowers!  All Fall Flowers!  The first link is a testament to my Dutchness.  The second is a testament to every happy smile that crosses the path of my face in the Fall.

This song from this band.  To be honest, I like all of their songs, but this one is sweet as.

I love the weather.  I cannot provide a link to describe fall weather or how I feel about it.  But I can give you a photo.  New Hampshire in the fall a few years ago, the clouds curling over the mountains, the sun still shining golden enough to illuminate the perfect trees in their perfect transition.  I cannot even begin to convey how much of my breath has been stolen by Autumn and her weather, how much of my spirit is linked to this perfect time of year.

Iceland.  There will be much more blogging of this obsession to come starting late next week.

Peridot.  I think I am attracted to the fern-esque green of the stone- it is so clear and so crisp and so... almost lemony green.  Go with me on that one.  It's not for lack of trying.

Telling Stories.  Always telling stories.


I am utterly digging on this blog.  She has outstanding advice for the worthy traveller.  And she has killer posts on Iceland (see the aforementioned obsession).

These companies.  The shoes they produce are balanced, beautiful, brilliant!  The perfect companions for my gnarly yogic/running/beat up tootsies.

Finally, even though I am admittedly a complete and utter book fiend (I normally use the term 'whore' here), I have developed a deliciously guilty television pleasure.  It's called Copper.

Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Countdown Beginneth

In exactly two weeks I will be somewhere high above the Northern Atlantic Ocean, on my way to Iceland.

In exactly two weeks I will be doing what I do best- running running running.  Running away from everyone, everything, everything!

And Away We Go!

This is the first time in a long time that I will travel on my own.  Totally without contacts or support.  In a land far far away where English speaking is hilariously awesome and widespread but still not the main language.  In a land far far away with ice sheets and volcanoes, with trolls and witches, with perfection.  And in this land far far away I hope for one thing- to be set free.

Almost time to pack, friends.

Until Next Time. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How September Starts

... oh September.  My birth month.  The birth month of three of my four grandparents; the birth month of the fall; the eternal beginning and end.  This particular September is beginning with both good times and bad times.  

This is the Life Eternal
These are the Gates to Heaven
As September begins, my grandmother Isabel lay in the hospital, slowly giving up a long battle.  And here I am something like 400 miles away, leaning on my father for his strength, and looking to the earth for love, comfort, and reassurance.  

That life goes on.  That love goes on.  That movement between the physical and spiritual is worth the journey.  And that the journey is worth the end game- regardless of how that game plays out.

As September began, Dad and I hiked to the Natural Bridge... a beautiful start to my month... during our trip through Kentucky.  What I saw, heard, smelled, and felt allowed me to believe that the world, no matter what, is still so beautiful, so restorative.  I am bolstered by the idea that my grandmother will return to this Earth; that she will be at peace in Nature and that Mother Nature will take care of her.  

This is a beautiful world.  And we are all given to and received from it.  

Until next time, Much love, my Loves.