When I last posted here, I had no idea that in just two short months following, my mother would die in a sudden and traumatic end. I couldn’t write for the longest time after that, then I picked up working on short fiction again. The escapism of fiction has always been a nice release, but the mental and emotional toll that losing her took on my well being was just too great.
It’s been nearly a year and a half since that happened.
This blog was inspired by my life and love for Iceland, a country that’s been so healing and so hard to be in for different reasons. When I first traveled there, I carried the enormous weight of having suffered rape at the hands of a friend who I trusted just six months earlier and still couldn’t even process that I experienced that trauma, not even to my partner. When we returned home after that trip, I spent the rest of the summer very much in a healing process and supported by a partner who is and always will be at the core of who I’ve become as an adult.
We didn’t return to Iceland for two years after that, but when we did it felt even more like home to be back on that rock in the middle of the ocean. That trip was a beautiful exploration of the entire island, but not without the heartache of arriving at a small farm in East Iceland, only to receive messages that my mother was suffering from a stroke and it would be days before we could travel home. She recovered, thankfully, but those hours where things weren’t certain as we tried to assess from thousands of miles away were extremely difficult. I had no idea that it would be nearly a year later and she’d be gone forever.
Surviving the loss of a parent is a bizarre and almost unnameable experience. But because we had made it through 6 months of this hell, I suppose my partner wanted a break and he certainly deserved it. So even though it was going to be November and colder than ever when we had previously visited, he booked our return home to that emotional rock in the middle of the ocean and we attended our first Airwaves festival. We made some of the best of friends and saw incredible artists and I thought a lot about what had happened with my mom last time we were there. It was a trip of a indulgence and reward for having made it through the things we had made it through and for that I am forever grateful.
I’ll celebrate my birthday this year when we return to Airwaves. This time of year is always one that is wrapped up in feelings of new beginnings and fresh starts, with the change of seasons and as I start another revolution around the sun. It’s also marked with trauma, however, and we actually depart on the anniversary of my assault, the one I carried with me in silence the first time we traveled to Iceland. And to be sure, the political climate here in the US with the recent confirmation of a known rapist to the Supreme Court nominated by another known rapist has become one of the most difficult daily reminders of this awful experience. But, this time of year is mine, it’s my new start, my renewal, my enduring, and my survival.
So I guess this post is to say, I’m back, I think, here for a while to share again the things I’m reading, writing, listening, and enjoying. Thank you for being here with me.