Thursday, March 31, 2011
Really, this month has dragged on and on and on. The cherry blossoms are out but few people are walking about looking at them because the weather has been so impossibly awful and cold. This is the coldest end-of-March in my memory and I've been here 15 years.
Just got something pleasant in the mail today; a copy of Iceland Review with one of my articles in it! Unfortunately the magazine does not allow one to link to articles therein, but you can get a feel for the publication here. One may be able to purchase the publication on the streets of Reykjavik but here it is subscription only. Iceland is one of my favorite countries and I am always wishing to go back there.
During my second visit exactly 10 years ago this April, a friend of mine who works for the local morning newspaper took me to this amazing Good Friday service where actors were reading from an amazing group of "passion hymns" by one 17th century poet named Hallgrimur Petursson. The 50 poems, which Icelanders usually read one per day during Lent, dwell on the passion of Christ, starting with the Garden of Gethsemane. The poems are like meditations but they are in verse. The church service I attended was packed with people who sat for hours listening to these poems. Iceland is a very secular nation but here is one instance where people actually were rapt in worship. For one day out of the year, they go back to their Lutheran roots.
I was so fascinated with this man - and fortunately someone in Iceland gave me a copy of his poems before I flew back here - that I wrote 2 columns about Petursson for the Washington Times way back when (they are here and here). A few months ago, I began asking the Iceland Review folks why they never carried anything about religion and one thing led to another and I got this assignment to write about this amazing poet. I ended up interviewing 2 scholars in Iceland (by email) and one who lives in Pennsylvania. And so here we are. It's not often I get stuff in foreign publications.
Life is uneventful in a fashion; wish I had good news to share but at least there is no bad news. Today - which I was supposed to spend in preparing my taxes - was spent in taking my kitty to the vet. And the little vixen in the photo is Miss Veeka at her ballet/tap dance lesson.