23 August 2005

the hlaup has released

Yesterday morning was a rapid succession of approvals from all corners of the world.

First the email from HR man T saying Vinnumálastofnun had approved, then a phone call from him saying Útlendingastofnun had approved, then an afternoon call from the Danish Consulate in New York asking when I wanted my D-Visa to start. It all happened as fast as a volcano releasing a massive pile of sand from underneath a glacier (that, for my non-Icelandic readers, is a hlaup)

Last night I couldn't sleep, my mind swirling with plans for the future and memories of that first time I was in Iceland last October.

I remember that first sunrise I saw, hanging in the space between the horizon and the cloud cover as I greeted my first Icelandic horses. My stomach was full of coffee, my first flavors of skyr, and that thinly sliced brown bread in the crinkly package, spread with Icelandic butter.

I remember the waves on that south coast, cresting against the lava cliffs and pouring into the air, bringing the smell of seaweed and the first hint of the still-unidentified Iceland Aroma. I remember the drive through the low, rainy clouds across the lava field on the way to Rvk, wondering what I was getting myself into, and hiding behind my knitting. The city built up around us, building by building, and my nervousness receded by the time we'd arrived in Vesturbær.

I remember the trip to the West Fjords, as the land built up and the houses fell away. The mountain pass was covered in snow and the wind howled across the treeless space. When we came down into the fjords, we ate cheese layered on crispy Norwegian crackers, and I cut my finger on the cheese slicer, thanks to the bumps in the road and sudden curves. We finished it off with chocolate bars and J's aunt's homemade carrot cake, flown to him from New Bedford, MA.

That view from the road that afternoon stays with me too, the view of the snow-dusted fjords opening to emptyness, barren of houses, trees, or people. They lay in that late afternoon autumn sun, dropping into the brilliant teal water of the fjord. Our only company there was the ducks and I think, a seal. We lay bets with each other on how much it would take to sleep there among the abandoned settlement's collapsed turf houses with the wind whistling in from Greenland, and the spirits of settlers past hanging round their land.

A few logistics still stand in the way, but I'm almost there, and it's about time. My hair is in need of another ice-cut

1 comment:

JB said...

Yes, it is about time! Can't wait to have you back on The Land. Got a nice bay horse picked out for you, too. :-)