By James Callahan.
Iceland is certainly different from Atlanta, Georgia. Having lived in Georgia my entire life, subject to the conditioning of America, I can clearly see the undeniable importance and inexplicable effect that living in Iceland has had, is having, and will have on my entire life. The midnight sun, the mountains that seem to never end, the power of the earth herself energizing nearly the entire country. All of this has deeply touched my sense of life in such a way that positive change is inevitable. I bask in the history of this country through natural, linguistic, and cultural immersion. The paradisiac, dream-like landscape is one that has embedded itself into my heart where by I am humbled at almost every moment. Since June 24th, I have been living in a town called Reyðarfjörður. My cousin Kristján and his lovely wife Álfheiður have lived here for decades, creating family and certainly all kinds of memories. Kristján's grandfather is the younger brother of my great-great grandmother, Björg Stefánsdóttir. The connection here is deep and true. My cousin Frosti describes the mountains here as the Eastern Alps. They are truly magnificently serene and noble. Perched among the clouds in the most silently confident of ways, I wake up every morning to the breathtaking landscape. For the past week, part of my volunteer work experience has as a museum attendant. The French maritime museum and hotel in Fáskrúðsfjörður, the next fjord south of Reyðarfjörður, holds in it, a very unique and meaningful history of the French-Icelandic connection through the fishing industry. The interaction with French, German, Icelandic, and Spanish speaking people has broaded my scope of human perspective. And of course, ten minutes of the mountain view on a clear day might be enough to end wars. Learning about even one aspect of Icelandic history is enough to explore the infinite possibilities each life held during those times. It is again, humbling and awe inspiring. Every day here is a new life. Truly. I feel at home here, even though I do miss seeing the stars. Perhaps I must come back to see them. I will continue working at the museum until my time to leave on July 14th, where at that point, I will reunite with the rest of the Snorri members in Reykjavík. For the next day, we will begin our trek to Hofsós as well as exploring all kinds of areas in Iceland. The emergence of the recognition of a psychogenetic familiarity among the Snorri members as well as Iceland in general is beyond words. It is truly a heart opening experience.