Iceland is a liminal place. People who normally never get lost find their internal compass suddenly on the fritz. They find themselves lost in thought and wander off, inexplicably drawn into caves and toward water.
While visiting Dimmuborgir, a few of us decided to visit this cave. As I climbed the steps, I found myself drifting further and further away. Upon arriving at the mouth of the cave, I found myself drawn toward the back and began to walk forward. My companions had to coax me back. Dazed, I arrived at the top of the steps and realized I was not myself. Thankfully, by the time I reached the bottom, I was once again grounded in the present and able to orient myself.
These sort of experiences are not at all uncommon in Iceland, which is why you need to keep your wits about you and not wander off alone.
Standing in front of a wall of rock
A thousand faces staring back at you
Not exactly an exchange
A misstep could lead
to an untimely end
A small smudge
the brightest green
from Heapstown Cairn
Very much alive
laying in slumber
to be experienced
by those who
do not visit
with the intent to take
in a moment
The Other Crowd are strong at Heapstown. They're all around you, luring you into all the little nooks and crannies.
Time seems to have no meaning. What feels like just a few moments is actually 30 minutes. What feels like 30 minutes is over an hour. What seems like an hour is closer to three. Everyone seems to have the same reaction. They feel themselves fading into the Otherworld and go willingly. There isn't any amount of time that is long enough and when we finally accept that it is indeed time to leave, we do so very slowly, pausing every few steps to take it all in.
I was pulled into a small grove, bathed in green. I stood there, dumbstruck. Uncertain what to say, I broke the rules.
I regretted it as soon as the words left my lips. That is the number one thing you NEVER say to the Good Neighbors. To thank them indicates an acknowledgement of debt and if there is one thing you do not want, it is to be indebted to them.
I searched in vain for something to say, some way to make it right. I removed a piece of Labradorie from my pocket, placing it on a branch. The intent was to photograph it in this beautiful setting. The moss would be a gorgeous backdrop.
It remained there for only a second before tumbling to the ground. this unintended gift, lost to me forever, but hopefully well-received.
IN ORDER FOR AN OFFERING TO HAVE VALUE,
IT MUST BE A SACRIFICE.
I climbed the stairs to the cairn at Knowth and took in the view. There it is. Ireland. The wind was strong but soft and seemed to wash away whatever was keeping me stuck. How could anyone stay in a funk when surrounded by all this beauty?
On to Newgrange. They didn't allow any photos in the passageway itself. I still was feeling jetlagged and rather out of sorts, so I don't know if my experience would have been different if I felt otherwise.
We waited our turn outside, taking photos and chatting. Once it was time, we fell into line and proceeded inside. It wasn't nearly as large as I thought it would be. I allowed everyone else to leave and in doing so, had the inner sanctum to myself for a few moments. It was quite impressive. I asked a few questions and marveled at the space. Then, I made my way out through the passageway and back into the open air.