Photo by Anne-Lise, a French school teacher who I met volunteering for the Red Cross in Christmas of 2010. She has a wicked sense of humour, patience and a strong sense of self.
Iceland changed and saved my life in more ways than I can go into detail here. I could never quite explain what it means to me, but here I shall try. By quoting myself.
“A symbol and theme throughout my life has been that the highest form of joy and achievement is to be myself all of the time, and I have often said that the further north I go, the more I can do exactly that.”
“In the overwhelming love I felt for a number of people I met in Iceland, it’s easy to look over the love I feel for Iceland itself. It’s so honest. I would like to go back and discover its power. Escape the cities and just run and swim and roll and laugh and lie and chew the cud in the fervent mountains and rivers, lakes and shores, caves and grassy banks and soaring arches and watertumbles, fjords and faults and cliffs and endless sunshine.”
“I’m so full of inspiration and energy and just… joy! I can’t remember the last time I felt like this… Coming back from Iceland, I am so inspired and uplifted as if I feel like I’ve just taken a deep breath, like the air in my chest is fresh as mountain air and my speech is all in sheer italics. I feel like the grey film from my life has been shifted and lifted and wiped away and now I can see the cloud forests in Madagascar and the sweet dew in the morning breeze and like I’m walking on clouds and silver linings are all around and all other saccharine thoughts and clichés are cushioning my step.”
“Apart from anything else, I think I love this country because I sometimes feel like Iceland: remote, unlike anything else, sometimes overseen yet unexpectedly explosive and troubled, beautifully complex, ruled by nature, creative and full of impossible dreams, always changing (literally), full of oddities and fucking awesome.”
I haven’t even mentioned the elves or Retro Stefson or the yellow lighthouses or the weird obsession with liquorice or the alcohol which tastes like dust and piss and cough syrup or the wind chill factor or the smell of whale or the volcanoes or the hitchhiking or the opera singers and Viking cowboys and prison guards or the Blue Mountains and the mountains of waffles or the green smiling faces or Babalu or the waterfalls or the moon or the hot tubs.
What is my life.