Iceland

...was intense in a geographical-weather-desolate-beauty sort of way.

It is pulsing with raw energy: the random, incessant plop plop plop of a boiling mud field, some ancient breed of horses running the length of the horizon, nipping each others' shininy necks, geothermal steam fizzing up out of every fold in the green-black mountains, life threatening storms always on the horizon, the widest sky I've ever sussed out, lava humps covered with jewel-green moss as far as the eye can see, sneaky murderous waves on black pebble beaches, 50 mile-an-hour winds straight out of Greenland pushing you off the 300 m. high cliffs where the gannets scream and laugh at the prospect. Hmm. How can all of this have left us feeling strong and grounded?

 Despite all the banal gross tourism, Viking memes, bla bla bla bearded beheadings and Museum of Phallus machismo... the basic, natural whole of the island moves with a distinct feminine energy.

 We bought the purest, clearest, sweetest white cod from a woman at the dock who chopped it into perfect portions and slid it into our bag, waving away the money. None of this involved words. When the camper van cakked out, a woman arrived, driving a large lorry, fiddled under the hood of our camper, and gave us the thumb's up from underneath when the engine turned over. I met a woman in Reykavvik, a complete stranger. We literally stopped in our tracks at eye contact on the sidewalk. She looked at me intently. Then she held up her arms, pointing to the hair that was standing up on them.

And on the back of her neck. Out of my mouth came the words: "I am a daughter of Sedna." I have never, ever said that before. She nodded in absolute confirmation. Out of her mouth came the words, "I am a sister white witch." We stayed like that for a minute or two, giant tears rolling down our faces. Then off we went, never to see each other again. O, Iceland.

 Wealsomet a wonderful older German dude named Norbert who had been travelling Iceland for 5 months in a totally-kitted-out retro 4x4 truck and camper. All Tilly hat and tear-away beige pants and Dubbinned up pliable leather hiking boots and retractable walking poles. We shared space at a campground in a snowstorm, like, a week-long snowstorm. In August. He literally bounded aheadof us up those greasy green cliffs and over glaciers and then down the skree.

 In a purely physical way, he was in perfect harmony with his own feminine power, and that of the Earth underfoot.

 Yet, in social situations, he was stuck on the Viking channel: too many facts to relay too authoritatively; too much enthusiasm for the DIY narrative, which sounded distinctly 20th century and a bit, you know, Anglo Saxxon. His evening tales of his social encounters with the local Icelanders invariably involved him making a sour face to try to relay to us his experience of their sour-unfriendly-unhelpfulness. I silently smiled: Liebe, you are just not on the right channel!

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