Breaking Away

Iceland – January 2018

So blue. “It means that they are newly capsized,” the guide explains before he turns everyone loose to explore. Blue is the color of breaking away.

Just when I thought I might never again be struck speechless by a landscape. Just when I thought I had given up travels to new lands, this unexpected chance arose. A stopover in Iceland on the way to the great unknown. A reward for listening to my intuition, despite the shrieks of my ego. Moving around all the time doesn’t necessarily keep ruts from forming beneath you. The time has come for massive change. It’s time to break away.

The creak and groan of ice in transition. The distant bellowing of seals. Muted human voices. Awe has a way of doing that. The five-hour ride down here started in darkness. A half moon dangled like a jewel in a black velvet sky. The shadow side’s gritty surface softly visible. Just beneath her, Mars and Jupiter peered out. Watchful, serene. The dingy morning light revealed towering waterfalls cloaked in mist. The sun rose to its zenith low on the horizon. The otherworldly landscape blurred by the window. Snow-capped volcanos mirrored in roadside puddles and immense moss-covered lava fields. The great glacier filled the windshield. No time to stop for photos. Light is precious this time of year. I arrived yesterday evening, on the tail of a severe gale. Another one is due tomorrow. This day is a sliver of light shining through the murk of the Icelandic winter.

A T Rex rises from the rear of the mass. From another angle, it’s an albatross readying itself for flight. I smile. The images that arise in the mind. What do they wish to say? I no longer believe that they are random.

Imperceptible drift. The lagoon is a womb-shaped lake at the base of the glacier. A narrow canal slices through the black volcanic earth. Just beyond, the ocean awaits. Perhaps total disintegration is just another form of rebirth.

The things that seem so beautiful and awesome and eternal. A pure, fearless light reveals the fractures. Uncomfortable truths. The futility of rescue. If something is meant to shatter, it will. No matter how hard you cling. The only thing left to do is let go and trust.

The mist thickens. The sun dilates and descends. Grainy tangerine radiance. Shadowy forms mill about the black sand beach. The waves have battered the ice into shards, sculpted them into lovely forms, and carried them back to shore. All that awaits is the slow seep back into the Earth. Nothing truly disappears. It is simply dispersed and assimilated. And the new incarnation begins.