This morning, I’m taking a moment to explain the absence of Monday Morning Mixtape, as well as make an effort to reclaim it. It all starts with this scheduled post that went live 4 months ago. One that I never had the time, nor the heart, to push through. . .
Jonsi | Go | Go Do
Greetings from Iceland! I’m currently 4 hours ahead, enjoying a glorious day of glacier exploration. Life is freakin’ brilliant. I can’t wait to share images from this trip, but until then, enjoy this track by Jonsi. To follow along with the trip in spirit, you can take a peek at my instagram feed and enjoy hours of musical goodness on my Fire & Ice spotify playlist. All the music is connected to Iceland, be it created by Icelandic musician or recorded in the country — save songs from the Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack, but it counts in my brain. 😉
At the time that this post was published, we were not geared up and adventuring through Vatnajökull National Park upon snowmobiles, as originally planned. Instead, we found ourselves riding in an ambulance, in a state of stunned confusion. I still cannot delve too deeply into the details of our accident (as they are still hard to put into precise words), though I can tell you this: it is miraculous that we walked away with only a few bumps and bruises. As we were nearing Kalfafell, a rush of wind came upon us that was like nothing I have ever heard. Even now, I find the sound oddly beautiful. The combination of gale force winds with icy patches of road conspired to rotate our vehicle 180*, while pushing us towards the embankment, resulting in our rental, our gear, and ourselves flipping off the road and sliding across the snowbanks, crushing the top of the car along the way. Below is a quick snap of the resulting damage:
So what does this even have to do with Monday Morning Mixtape? Why have I not been able to post since returning from this trip? As I mentioned in the original text, the song I chose to share on this day was from a playlist I created specially for the trip. This also was the song that was playing out at the moment we were blown off the road. Perhaps it is silly, but I have sat down to write up another post nearly every week since I made it home, and have not been able to get through the process without wanting to panic or cry. Today is the first day I have been able to play this song through, and while it nearly made me sick, I continued to play it until my breathing came easily again. I’m a firm believer in the practice of growth in the face of discomfort. All in it’s own time, but it does need to happen. I refuse to let this instance take away the peace and inspiration that comes from Icelandic music, particularly Jonsi and his related projects. I also will not spend another day not sharing my favorite music with you all, simply because of the associative fear that now comes with it. This is me, taking back something I love. My pulse is racing, but now only half of that is from anxiety. 😉
I just need to take a moment to say how incredibly grateful I am when I think about this entire situation. Yes, I still go through moments of panic, anger, frustration over how this incident changed the entire course of our trip. I ended up not seeing the Iceland I came to experience, and my heart still breaks when I think about that. But at the end of the day, we had a best-case ending to a worst-case situation. After miles of jagged (and in this case, possibly deadly) rock formations beside the road, the winds chose to launch us into a patch of soft powder. As we began to turn, my dear friend and experienced winter weather driver responded calmly rather than escalating the danger of the situation. We all were quick on our feet: one digging us an escape from the overturned car, the other pulling valuables, as I ran to the road to find assistance. We continually send hugs and thankful vibes out to the lovely scottish couple who let us take shelter in their car. Just behind them, local electricians pulled over to call the ambulance and police, as well as remove everything from our car. That’s right: we were able to retrieve everything, save a bag of groceries and a lone sock waiving in the wind… which was the first thing one of my friends saw as she pulled herself out of the car. The other sock in the pair was then used to wrap her bleeding hand. In other grateful news: none of our gear was damaged. Props to Nikon, Think Tank, and ONA Bags for providing some truly amazing products. Lastly, to the nurse in Vik who lent us her own socks to keep my friend warm, and the wonderful staff at Icelandair Hotel Vik who were so kind: you are a testament to the hospitality of the Icelandic people. Bless Bless.