Monday, January 30, 2012

Spectacular. Magnificent. Incredible.

I wish I could throw my body in the air to punctuate each of these words for you.

I am home after 2 weeks in Denmark and a brief visit to Iceland. I was sitting on a plane yesterday, a few Icelandic documentaries under my belt, when I peaked out the window to see something soul-screeching amazing.

When you fly west out of Iceland, bound for Seattle, you fly over Greenland and over a body of water called the Davis Strait. At this time of year the body of water separating Greenland from the uninhabited snowy fjords of Northeastern Canada is made up of giant sheets of fractured ice. For hundreds, even thousands of miles, jagged indigo veins thread their way through milky plates of ice. White cliffs jut curiously up from the sea and not a living thing can be seen. Nothing breathing, nothing photosynthesizing, nothing moving to the rhythms of the strange and stunning landscape. On this trip we were quite close to the North Pole, so we traveled for 8 hours with the setting sun. The light on the shattered landscape was breathtaking- everything awash in pink and gold, purple and blue. As I snapped a few photos out the window I felt my heart leap for joy. Leap.

For a moment I looked around, wondering what we ought to do. I considered promoting a collective dance. Or a subdued squeal. Something.

Instead, I just said thank you for every possible thing I could think of. I gave thanks for the plane and the pilot and human flight. I gave thanks for the sun and the moon and for the quirky bus driver who invited us to “stare into the darkness” when we arrived in Iceland, etc. etc. Like most people, most of my days are filled with the humdrum of daily decisions. I navigate life with unconscious consciousness. But yesterday I was given 30 minutes of magnificent.

It's amazing what 36,000 feet and a puny window can do for your soul.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Wintry Update

I'm sicker than a dog for the second time this season. I need to stand in line with all the old ladies (a.k.a. the bright one's of the earth) and get a flu shot next year. Tomorrow Clark and I are bound for the land of Danes and I am already dreading facing the poor person who will be sitting next to me in 34D. They are going to despise me. I am drugged up and resting today, so hopefully will be in much better shape by tomorrow at 3:30 when our plane departs.

Clark and I are going to Denmark to paint my cousins' house. As a thank you they are flying us through Iceland on the way home. Who does this kind of thing? We're hoping to soak in some hot springs and admire the Northern Lights. Fabuloso!

There is much to catch up on and discuss in the world. We could discuss the assassination of the Iranian nuclear physicist or the genocide occurring in Southern Sudan. Or the exciting happenings in Myanmar.

This is all worthy chatter chatter, but I've only the capacity for celeb gossip. Britney Spears is getting married again, which nearly prompted me to buy a teeshirt with her face on the front yesterday when I was at Value Village picking up a few things for painting. I googled her this afternoon and was invited to follow ol Brit on Twitter. I think I can say with certainty that I cannot imagine wanting to follow someone less.

A few random updates from my neck of the woods:

On Sunday (the eve of Carmen Vs. The Flu Round 2) Clark and I went snowshoeing in the Cascades. Lovely.

We went to Florida to spend time with Clark's fam for Thanksgiving where I caught my first fish, swam in the Gulf of Mexico, and spent my first Thanksgiving holiday in a pair of flip flops.

I loved spending time with my fam for 2 full weeks over the Christmas holiday. Such a luxury. And now a Christmas confession: you all know I am a feminist and believe in supporting strong, healthy compassionate boys and girls, yet I admit I bought my niece princess gear this Christmas.

Shoot me now.