Wrecked in Reykjavik

IMG_0872

(Fox and Crow statue in the 16th, a tribute to the writer,  Jean de La Fontaine)

Prologue: A Paris Visit

I  just spent four days in Paris visiting my oldest daughter Zooey. During the entire time, though, I was getting a strange vibe. On the last day of the visit I finally asked her how she was feeling. She didn’t tell me. She told me what she thought I needed to do to be happy.

My shame alarm started going off as I struggled to focus on my mantra, “respond, don’t react, respond, don’t react.”

It was as if Zooey was channeling my wife’s answer to every problem in our marriage. While I spent four days with my daughter, walking and sharing how I was working on myself, and how I wanted to reestablish my relationship with her and her two sisters.

I feel like I’m living more in the moment more than ever before. So when Amanda suggested I’d been unhappy for the four days I spent with her I was blown away and not in a good way.

I regressed to a time when things were at their worst for her mother, Caroline and I. I was unemployed, in a deep depression, miserable, with no self-esteem.

I left Paris reeling in self-contempt, and fighting all the voices that had plagued me in the depths of my dark days. Luckily, I was headed to Reykjavik for two days.

Reykjavik

So late of Friday, I made my way to Reykjavik for almost two days before returning to the U.S. of A.

By the way, shout out to Wow Air, Icelandic Air’s budget brand. Only two of the four flights were delayed. In baseball, batting .500 gets you into the hall of fame!

I arrived in Reykjavik and made it to my Airbnb by around 1AM and it was still light out.

Midnight Sun in Reykjavik

(This is Iceland at midnight. I kid you not.)

It is 1AM and my body clock is somewhat adjusted to Paris where it is 3AM.  I pulled the blinds down in my room which sorta kinda made it a shade darker and tried to get some sleep. “Tried” being the operative word.

Not a great city to visit when you’re exhausted and not feeling great about yourself. I won’t provide a blow-by-blow travelogue, and instead finish my first blog entry with the first poem I’ve written in a very, very long time.

Ode to Reykjavik

Is there anything as gray as Reykjavik in the summer?
Drab, bland, and sad, ersatz hues, ochres, indigos, maroons,
Covering ashen walls of corrugated homes overlooking a bleak glacial harbor.
I am witness and participant to battles against nature, human and otherwise.
In this Arctic slag, combatting destiny is a lost cause.
In weeks, if not days, ferrous skeletons reveal
Fading, frozen cenotaphs to the weakness of man.
The frigid, Viking village, haunted by the specter of Kierkegaard
In wisps of drafts he slips through cracks and fissures.
A reminder of the Danish who once ruled this hard rock.
The hard, cold rock that still fills beings with nothingness.

5 thoughts on “Wrecked in Reykjavik

  1. Kids…..kids….they aren’t not caring but…at that age they care little about parents..they live their pattern they have lived all their life, meaning..parents are there to ”look after them” not the other way round…just youth…you exist just for when they actually need something if anything from you. No way they do not love us but…we as their parents! They can seem to be mature and stuff but it always be that ”habit”. 🙂 We are getting older day by day, no way we are happy with our look but it is the way it is. Fatter or thinner doesn’t matter. Ahhh If I had known you were longer in Iceland I have there awesome really awesome friends who you bet make you feel optimistic, relaxed full of life, it must be due to their climate and their ‘habit’ swim or sink 😉 😉 😉 You would definitely feel great with them and their stories and beer ;). Nah, I do not agree with her, probably she had no idea what to say and she just said the first came to her mind, perhaps I am wrong but…As I said, if it will really, but really make you feel better than do it in small steps. But do not make it as some goal, I must go 10 kilos down. It is a slow process, just eating healhier for supper and some long walk will do the change, after that perhaps some smaller meals but, do not deprive you of small pleasures. Not yet! You are in…some great change and…listen to this. My granny who was 88 years old when she died every day since she was retired she would sweep the whole street! I asked her why on earth she did it, of course it was swept by…but she told me ”Work is a saviour”. She had seven kids, a husband died when their bakery burnt to the ground…she brought up all seven, all were married had jobs kids…she replaced their father the way she could…even carried the bags in the port till later she found a job to feed their kids. She never married, babysat grandkids…lived with one son his wife and two granddaughters and yet swept that street every morning… I understand her now, she needed a purpose in her life….Aww sorry for this long…you ARE motivational and you will find not only one street to swipe but amny others. xxxxxx Thank you for sharing this. It is so intrinsic in human being to survive and fight.

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