Tuesday, October 21, 2008

but every now and then when I'm sleeping, I still have a dream that I'm flying...

I wandered down to the harbour today. It was beautiful and clear and the 30 minute walk along the ocean was relatively warm and sunshiny. I stood and watched the water for a while, took some photos for some other tourists and then explored my way between the docked ships until I was out of tourist territory. Along one of the thoroughfares between docks, I stumbled upon this little restaurant with a blinking "OPID" sign. On the window it said "Lobstersoup" so I went in. It was a tiny little room: chipped cement floor, three planks anchored into walls to serve as table with kleenex dispensers at each end and things that looked like old milkcans scattered around for chairs.
A guy came from the back wearing a plaid shirt and yellow fisherman's pants held up by suspenders. Definitely working pants, not costume pants. I wondered for a second if it was sanitary for him to come straight off the docks and cook, but then I thought "I'm sure I've eaten worse." So I asked for the only thing they seemed to serve...Lobstersoup. He came back a few minutes later with a little basket of cut up tiny baguette and a styrofoam cup of brownish-reddish liquid.
Now some of you may know how I feel about Boualong's Tom Yum. I want you to take that and multiply it by 9. This was THE BEST soup I have ever tasted. Sitting alone in the tiny "Seabaron" restaurant, I thought I just might die from sheer food ecstasy. And, the bread was even warm.
I don't care if you like seafood or not - because this is like no "seafood" you've ever had - this soup alone is reason enough to come to Iceland.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

we drank fine wine in one swallow...

It is winter here. It changed over the course of yesterday. Yeah, its been cold for a while, but this morning when I woke up (or afternoon), it was winter. There was no snow or wind even really. The sky was just as overcast as it has been for a while now, but it was winter. You can smell it, taste it. Feel it in the rock hard ground beneath your feet. I stand in the kitchen making toast, listening to my new Ane Brun cd (which is coincidentally called “Changing Seasons”) and I feel like…well, I’m not exactly sure what I feel like. I feel like crying and like laughing and like being alive is one of the strangest and most complicated things in the world.
I wish I had a guitar to play along with Ane and sing in this empty kitchen about seasons and time and treehouses and the rain.

Lullaby for Grown Ups - Ane Brun

Go to sleep
with closed eyes
Your prophecies
won’t be fulfilled tonight.

When you think
of falling skies
remember there are a million ways to die

Don’t be afraid
Don’t wear your inside out
To keep you warm

So rest your head
It’s just as well
You can’t keep the sky from falling

Friday, October 17, 2008

and it drifts like smoke...


We are back in Iceland! Reykjavik is good. A little cooler and a little less green than when we left it, but still doing alright. Its still a little moody, weather-wise, but I’m sure it’ll come around. We’ve been at the Airwaves music festival since Wednesday and I’m averaging 7 concerts a day…hoping to up that number today and tomorrow.

I am craving a Prikid swiss mocha, but refusing to get addicted to the coffee that I no longer cringe at in it. Good thing there’s a 40 minute walk between it and I. And with the way the rain just whipped up again, I’m quite content to sit inside the kitchen and sip my hot chocolate and baileys. I’m thinking it would be lovely to go next door and sit in the hot pools while the cool rain pours down, but that would entail me braving the rain out to the tent, finding my swimming suit, walking down the block, showering and then running through the cold from the door to the pool before I could enjoy it. So yes, I think I will stay here for now. I’ve heard so many great new artists already this week, but this morning, I just wanted to hear Norah, so I’ve got her playing while I’m cooking up my eggs and toast. It feels really quite cozy domestic this morning: no one else in the kitchen, which is all windows on 3 sides, warm light spilling out from under the shelves, the smell of breakfast, socked feet, hoodie, leaning against the counter holding my mug close to my face with both hands. It makes me think of home. I think this is the first time I have, actually. Pam is safe back home, catching up on sleep. Jamie is getting into the homebound frame of mind. But me, I could stay here another month. This morning reminds me of last year about this time though: just finished landscaping, no plans, nothing urgent to do, reading poetry in the quiet morning kitchen with tea, nothing but time. This doesn’t make me wish that I was home though…the eve of winter for me in Edmonton this year will be spent very differently. I desperately need to work. I have left old work unfinished and waiting for me. I have new work that’s hovering constantly, ready to come crashing at me. There will be no time to really catch my breath beforehand. Rather, I’m planning to just hold it and jump in…probably surfacing around Christmas, gasping for air. Life moves so quickly. Its only October 17th and I’m talking about Christmas as though it is right around the corner.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

and it's coming into sight as the days keep turning into night...

This is for the old Irish man that stood outside the bus window in his tweed cap and jacket and winked and waved at me.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how one year can change the course of an entire life. Then I began to think of how inadequate a year is to measure a life. I am 23 years old. What does that mean really? 23 years means very different things to different people.
I feel as though we are intended to live each year in the direction of the kind of life we want to live. I've spent the better part of the past two years working landscaping and being unemployed and wandering around strange parts of Europe and pouring scotch in dark, ritzy bars. When I was in school, it was easy to justify doing simply what I loved because it was leading up to something, I was moving forward in my education, my prospects, my skills, my life...but what can I say for myself now? Have I stopped moving? Am I stuck? I don't feel stuck. I feel like I'm making decisions, not on the year, but in the moment, that make me very happy. Because in reality, life moves by leaps and pauses, not through years and numbers. If I'm not living every moment as the kind of life I want to live...what good is a year to me?
In The Shack it says "Today we are throwing a big rock in the lake and those ripples will reach places you would not expect."

So this is to the Irish man who made me smile and laugh and wave back. Whose actions, unknowingly, made me realize that I am happy with this day, with my life.
I hope I can live my life to do the same and watch the ripples return to me in beauty I did not expect.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I like to dance all night and some of the day...

-Overheard at The Duke public house in Dublin-

scratch that.
In trying to focus on what I'm hearing, I realized that I am taking so much in that I can't begin to write it all down. Its amazing what your mind can process at once without you realizing.

All the snippets of phrases and laughter and sighs mixed with bar stools scratching the floor, change tinkling into registers and the sound of glass against glass, glass against wood, glass against hand. The far-off crash of dishes, the scrape of fok against plate.
Is this comin' or goin'? shouts the barmaid
Newspaper pages flick against air, the nervous shuffle of bags and tourist's feet. Guinness rolling down pint glass, foam curling around grate, gripping at the edges until it becomes too much and then, that first,