I awoke today to find the grief-beast still alive and well in me though slightly more subdued than yesterday. I had the house to myself but knew there was nothing to be gained by staying in and wallowing when I was in the perfect place to go outside and wallow! I put on my cosie and headed off to Laugardalslaug – a thermal pool complex in the Laugardalur Valley on the outskirts of the city.
In all our trips here, this is yet another place that we never managed to make our way to until now. I paid the paltry entrance fee, deposited my things in locker 381 and headed outside to what looked like, and for all intents and purposes is, a public swimming pool – only with naturally warm, thermal waters. I started in the ‘hot pot’ but it proved to be too much, too soon in my drained state making my head swim with dizziness. I thought it better to let my body swim a little first in the larger and cooler (though still blissfully warm) pool alongside Icelandic children learning to swim and paddling about in the strange inverse world to the one I grew up in.
After a while, I eased back into the hot pot enjoying the sensation of the warm water and cool breeze. I let my thoughts go as I drifted in and out of awareness, at times feeling almost intoxicated. The water was so gentle, soothing and comforting. I don’t even know how long I was in there but by the time I got out, I was throughly relaxed and ready to face the world again.
I walked back into town listening to Bjork, this time absorbing the beauty and wisdom of the songs All is full of love, Undo and It’s not up to you all which seemed so perfectly crafted for me for that moment in time that it felt like a private conversation with a reassuring embrace.
I rewarded my soothed savage beast with a repeat visit to C is for Cookie where I promptly fed it one and sent a couple of emails in an attempt to seal the crack in yesterdays dam wall – no more leaks!
I next stopped for a quick lap of the Einar Jonsson sculpture garden which I found quite peaceful and moving, several of the works reiterating the recurring themes of vulnerability, protection and strength.
I headed back to the apartment to meet up with Halla and Berglind who were taking me out for a farewell dinner, this being my last night with them. We drove to nearby Kringland Mall for a huge and delicious Italian meal that got the better of all of us before parting ways for the remainder of the evening.
I headed back to my room to gather my belongings, wits and thoughts, grateful for the healing the day has bought as the sun proverbially, if not actually, sets on the most challenging year of my life so far. Tomorrow, the sun will proverbially, if not actually, rise on a new day and a new year as I head off to celebrate the main event of this trip, my birthday.