Sunday, June 01, 2008

Where the Earth still rumbles

I am raised up where the earth was shaking and rumbling in Iceland. My grandmother just moved to the city from the village what was hit the hardest by the earthquakes and she was eager to go there to see if the house she built with her own hands with my grandfather was still standing. So we went on a journey to Hveragerdi in glorious weather with intentions to explore the past and found something precious on our journey.

My grandmother is one of those unforgettable persons. The story of her life : film material. And through my quest of talking with people i have figured out that everyone is like this: full of surprises and testament of how amazing the human being can be - however most people dare not show this to others. They hide behind fear of rejection - fear of being labelled foolz or even crazy. My grandmother has the Shaman elements in her more than most people i have met. She knows how to talk to birds and plants and she is truly in her element when she is in nature. Yet she is now cut away from the rest of the family in old peoples home and somehow it just doesn´t feel right to me.

Every time she is telling stories from her past - i see this woman that was always ready to take her own path, despite the attacks she was under for doing so. And her own ways were more often than not - paths to help the children in her village - and they indeed still love this person - who trusted them and saw them as they where. But the adults hated her because they didn´t understand her motives. And thus if they could have they would have stoned her. So she has mixed emotions about this village - the birds answering her call when we arrived to the little house she used to spend her last few years in at the old people home in the village, me carrying her rocks to the car and she beaming with joy that someone wants to keep them for her.

We looked inside the windows of the little house and it was empty. The only thing inside was the fridge and it had almost fallen out of its socket in the earthquake. The earth was still rumbling and moving under our feet. I didn´t feel it much. Raised up in this village means that the moving earth is as natural as it is not to see lighting on the island. We went to the house she and granddad built from one room to a big and beautiful house. The people who own it have done wonders for it and it looked from the outside as solid as in my youth. We knocked on the door and out came the owners. One of them a close relative, my grandmother raised his sister for 3 years when they were young. So the house is the hands of someone who really cares for granny:) It was hard to tell that everything had fallen two days earlier from shelves and walls. Broken glass in box in the hallway and photos of it for the insurance company the only tell tale - a few cracks in the walls and the shaking in the voice of the women of the house as she told the tale of how it was to wake up to the violent shake of 6.3 quake - the noise from the earth - like thunders below.

I walked through the house that had so many memories within its shape - the garden - the trees - and it was a beautiful moment to be there with granny. She had not been there since they moved and she was at peace - joy flowing from her eyes.

The day was filled with moments like this and indeed one of these unforgettable days. I am deeply grateful for being alive at times like this.

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