I think I'm almost done with exploring wandergrief. There's a few more memories to rummage through, but as work starts to pile up, and routines start to normalise life, the wandergrief starts to fade away. Slowly but surely. Routine can be an anchor for life, a grounding to life itself, when it's not the boring, mundane thing we usually complain about. This time, I'm looking back at Iceland, in October 2014. This was not the first time I'd been down this road of wandergrief.
What lessons from the past can I take comfort in? What hangover cures might there be?
Lunar. Alien. Mystical. Lonesome. Extreme. Ground-shaking.
Iceland is not quite the Scandinavia I saw in Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland. It had been called Ultima Thule in medieval times, which denotes any distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world". Indeed, what I experienced here is beyond anything I'd known.
Ice cold sun over the Atlantic. Standing in the chilling breeze, the sun was little comfort. It's sooo quiet and lonesome (but in a nice way) that it feels like nobody's home. Such a sensory opposite to the bustling cityscape I'm used to.
Yet, the textures here, of Iceland, are something else altogether. Luminescent green moss on dark lava rock. Autumnal gold that's cold as ice. White silica mud in milky blue waters, against a backdrop of black lava rock. Alien green curtains of the sky, flowing fluid and dancing in the night. Deep ocean blue, but in a cave where rock and ice collide.
It felt like the journey to the centre of the Earth. An other-worldly adventure here in the real world.
Seeing the Earth breathe and burp was a surprisingly moving experience. The geysers, bubbling hot pools, the steam vents, glowing red magma - reminds me the Mother Earth is very much alive, a living, fire-breathing organism that lives by its own rules, its own agenda. We are mere insects at Her feet.
One last parting shot on the camera. A self-indulgent shot. One that speaks deeply of how I feel about Iceland. Witnessing how the Earth breathe and move and howl and light up was a strangely moving experience. A moment of connection, with Mother Earth. Iceland, you got me there.
"Without my imagination I couldn't go anywhere." ~ Vigdís Grímsdóttir
Indeed. But the reverse is also true - go anywhere far enough and your imagination reappears, stirred and fired up. Iceland is just such a place.