sunnudagur, ágúst 22, 2004

going through the motions

It's been one of the strangest times in my life here, this last week or so. I can't quite put my finger on it... I don't really feel at all like myself, I feel as though I'm going through the motions of someone else's life. I think that's maybe what happens when you remove so many familiar things from someone... maybe having those things (and people!) around you help remind you who you are, and without those things there, you forget what it is you are about? I am struggling for an explanation. My mom says it takes 21 days in a new place to begin to feel like you belong there. So I need to wait at least another week for that. But it's very hard for me to picture things happening there, and elsewhere in the world, these days.

Iceland is a tiny world unto itself... a microcosm, a fully-contained ecosystem. It's like a large, year-round Martha's Vineyard, with its own language and 1100-year history. But Reykjavik is really just an overgrown Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. The weird thing about it is, after just a short time, you adjust to the size and scope of the place, and it begins to feel like a huge city. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not, that it's much smaller than Boston, but it's hard to think of them both at the same time... they seem to be from totally different worlds.

Right now I am sitting in the 5th floor lounge of Borgabokasafn Reykjavikur. (Borg-a-bow-ka-sup = City library). It's a beautiful library, with lots of books in many languages, and there is a beautiful window across from me that looks out over the leafy old neighborhood next door. When I (finally!) get my apartment, I will be able to walk down here in about 10 minutes. I will really love living in the city, rather than Billerica-esque Kopavogur, where I have been staying. I keep having to remind myself that I need some patience here, because things happen slower, and my car and apartment will come to me in good time.

Last night was Menningarnott, Culture Night. It's a big annual event in Reykjavik, and I think there were 100,000 people (1/3 of the whole country) downtown - they have concerts and events all day into the night. There is a marathon, and street music, and people milling around... I saw some younger/smaller horses being led around with kids on them, through the streets. But they had some stupid, loud rock music platform right across from where the horses were grouped. I felt bad for the horses.

So anyway, they had some kind of platform where people from the crowd could jump up and sing a song, with instruments set up, etc. Apparently, Bjork was milling around and just jumped up there and did a couple of songs. I had a feeling that she would be here, for some reason, but I missed it. I guess they had it on TV. It was totally unplanned.

I went and saw Eivor Palsdottir, from the Faroe Islands, do a little concert. She has a breathtaking voice with incredible range. She is perhaps the best female vocalist I have ever seen live... and she can sing Faroese folk songs, her own compositions, and Nashville-style country, all seamlessly.


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