2012 was Bonnaroo‘s ten year anniversary and my third year in a row attending that amazing music festival. I had to break my winning streak in 2013 since I was saving up to move to Iceland, and this year I’ll be camping among the fjords of Iceland instead of “the farm” in rural Tennessee. But those three festivals hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll always smile when I think about running around in the crazy heat with thousands and thousands of awesome people shouting “Bonnnnarroooooo.” And even though I won’t be able to make it this year, I’ll be there in spirit, so I’d like to chime in for #Roo14Wishlist. Icelandic bands, guys: Hymnalaya, Mugison, Lay Low, Sóley, and Moses Hightower should definitely be considered!
spinning of the world
even the steadiest among us.
And the biggest problem
facing those aspiring
to remain upright
is the fact that
whatever you might cling to,
whomever you instinctively reach for-
they are spinning too,
and so are not
It stands to reason then,
that the only way
to escape this inborn vertigo
is to lean on someone
with perfect balance-
perhaps somethings that sits outside
the ceaseless whirring
of our dizzy, little lives.
Inspired by the classy Sunnyside Tuxedo , I thought I’d share my happy little lunch setup. I’ve been putting a lot more consideration and thought into creating little food experiences at home that nourish my body and my mind.
Today, I spent lunchtime at Kolaportið, the Reykjavik fleamarket, where I picked up some fresh foods and old books on the cheap (-ish…it is Iceland after all). After a brief stop by the lake to soak up the brightest moment of the winter sun, I sat down to enjoy my acquisitions.
My plate contains only products of Iceland. The breads are normalbrauð and flatkökur. I spread some berry jam from Egilsstaðir on the normalbrauð and topped the flatkökur with fresh honey-dill-Salmon. And I finished off the plate with some local cheese (ostur) and carrots (gulraetur).
The book on Copenhagen was published in 1947 by The Danish Society for the Preservation of Nature. It features beautiful prose and black and white photographs describing post-war Copenhagen. (If all goes according to plan, I will spend the upcoming fall semester in Denmark’s capitol on exchange from the University of Iceland.) It opens like this:
Who, knowing Copenhagen, can remain insensible to her charm, or fail to respond to the cheery bustle of her business hours, to the ready repartee of her good-humored citizens, or to the democratic conviction that here, at least, all men are equals.
I’m on a 19th century novel British novel kick right now, so I’m reading a beautiful, little old edition of Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now.
[You can read more about my adventures and day to day life in gorgeous Reykjavik on my other blog, An American in Iceland.]
I read this line in a 19th century novel today: “After all how few women there are who can raise themselves above the quagmire of what we call love, and make themselves anything but playthings for men.” There’s definitely something to that, even (or perhaps especially) today. We’re supposed to be so much more enlightened about sex and relationships, but I think the space between men and women seems to be navigated as much (or perhaps more) by manipulation and coercion and selfish (read: anything but real love) desires as it ever was. I try to take responsibility for my own emotional and intellectual shortcomings, but I do blame the world around me for this: whenever I start to think that I don’t want to be in a relationship unless it’s with a man that is attracted to me for my intelligence and personality, who thinks I’m beautiful because he is crazy about me, not who just enjoys me or puts up with me because he finds me physically attractive- whenever I promise myself this standard, my next thought is that I must be ready to remain content un-attached because that isn’t really possible. That’s not how these things work.
I blame the world around me, because it is possible. It is possible. But everything around me, the relationships I’ve known, the relationships I’m shown, the marketing, the images, the status quo- these things threaten to drag me into the quagmire of mating rituals and protection-from-being-alone-for-sex-arrangements, that murky place where I, as a woman, cannot reasonably ask for more than everyone else is willing to accept, to settle for. That’s the depressing “sound of settling” in the Death Cab for Cutie song. That’s Woody Allen’s pathetic closing line of Annie Hall:
“I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs.”
That is correct, and that is probable. But I know something better is possible, and until I’m proved right, I will fortify my resolution with peace, hope, and joy (and this amazing video that makes my heart happy every time I watch it:)
“But this is not a story. We’re talking about the real world.’ Tamaru narrowed his eyes and looked hard at Aomame. Then, slowly opening his mouth, he said,’Who knows.”
–1Q84, Haruki Murakami
“Perfect in weakness
I’m only perfect in just your strength alone.”
“Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mowers’s hand
Lie withering ere ’tis night.”
-“Our God, our help in ages past,” Isaac Watts
“When Gizur came out of his bed Sám, his bedfellow, had already received his death wound. Gizur heard Sám say as he received the blow, “This was to be expected.”
“I’ve got a hunger
Twisting my stomach into knots
That my tongue was tied off
My brain’s repeating
If you’ve got an impulse let it out
But they never make it past my mouth
Baa bah, this is the sound of settling”
-Death Cab for Cutie, “The sound of settling.”
he is truly wise
who’s travelled far
and knows the ways of the world
he who has travelled
can tell what spirit
governs the men he meets
-Hávámal Eddaic poems
I”t’s never sunny but I
Don’t even need the sun
I don’t need anything
I’ll just make something beautiful
Of all the ugliness I’ve done.”
-Pascal Pinon “”Þerney (One Thing)”
the way life twists nowadays
is new to me-
its peculiar new manner of weaving-
fresh like a clementine
peeled with ease
delivers with each sweet slice
and an appetite whetted for more,
but also like
the fear that presses
on the back of my neck
and unsettles my stomach
when I enter a new place alone
to meet a stranger
or a new acquaintance.