march doesn’t hurt like it used to

IMG_2546IMG_2631I used to despise the month of march. i always felt so trapped. So in-between the innocence of the first snowfall, and typically speaking, too many dank days away from a true warming sun. also, Someone I love very much, died in march.
last year I purposely set out on a quest in an attempt to transform my painful association with this month into something else. I knew the memories could never be totally eradicated, but I thought maybe they could change color or become softer or further away or something. So, I decided on a solo trip to Iceland. We were living in Brooklyn at the time and I was sad, stressed out and had many questions about lots of things. I knew that I desperately needed wide, clean, infinite breathing space. And I needed alarming quiet in order to think ~ to rest. I knew that in spite of my willfulness to hang on and not change, my own personal landscape was evolving, and however unclear and uncertain I still was about specifics, it was important to me that i remain open and move forward with a confident { Latin ‘con fides’ ~ ‘with faith’ } heart and a clear mind. While in iceland, I chose to stay far away from the city and just let the sky and instinct gently propel me from place to place. each day I would set out to explore with my standard provisions: my phone { for security but no service }, a paper map, a pen, cashews and water. I just walked and walked. And while I wouldn’t see people for hours at a time, I found great company and ‘conversation’ with a herd of Icelandic Horses*. I talked to myself, sang, cried, and felt insanely awake. One night around midnight I trekked out in hopes of a glimpse of the Northern Lights. According to the locals, conditions were promising. I tried to envelop myself in the blackest part of the landscape. I walked toward the dark with my feet crunching on the white, white snow and as I looked up I saw more stars than I have ever seen in my life. these celestial orbs were so bright that I felt I could almost reach up and pluck them from the sky like apples. I stopped walking. I stood still. The quiet was so loud it drowned out the voices in my head. The only sound I heard was my own heart beating. This turned out to be the only clue I could find to assure me that I had not, in fact, died and gone to heaven.

*The Icelandic horses are released each spring and are able to run free until fall. There is a beautiful film about this arranged phenomenon.