Two feet pinched

Volcanic rocks and snow in Iceland

Volcanic rocks and snow (Photo credit: kfcatles)

Tonight I have a room of my own and the man who took my krónur said I can check out late. I said goodbye to my friends at the hostel. I think we were being polite, but they are men with fine aspects. One of them had a nice smile when he smiled, which wasn’t too often. I cooked and ate alone here, and came to my room. I sat at my computer and when I looked up the sky was pink and the sun was setting, which means that it’s late.

The other guy last night said this idea of right and wrong is pretentious and self-obsessed. I’m not sure what specifically he meant, but it reminds me, the right thing and the wrong thing are the same thing, and then there’s everything else—which is life.

I walked by the fjord when I left them in the morning, mild sunlit day, and sat down on the far side on tufts of grass to eat hazelnuts and read a few chapters of Ripples from Iceland. But I felt tied somehow to them at the hostel and little kernels of conscious about how we will part. I wondered if my new hiking boots were, in fact, a size too small.

On the bus the landscape is the colour of an orca, black and white in daubs. I looked around the bus and an old man was sitting in the seat across the aisle, with white eyebrows and stubble, and pale rosey cheeks, and he seemed ok with whatever he’d done in his life.

Last night the S— guy was telling me places to go, and then he bought beers for us, and later a C— guy sat down and talked nice. As my friend says, with travel is loss.

Rilke writes only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.

And on writing poetry, he writes Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. – And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.


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