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Blues Before Sunrise
1. Inside Your Icy Blue Heart
Bent against the wind, Valdis and Ingunn were struggling in the twilight to make their way from the parking lot to the entrance of the village's only hotel when Ingunn laughed, dropped her luggage and opened her coat to the blast.
She was immediately blown backwards. "Look!" she cried to Valdis. "I'm a kite, and I'm about to take off!"
Valdis was not to be distracted. She had her eye on the luminous glass door. She put everything else out of her mind till she got there. She was cold, tired and hungry and the wind was playing havoc with her emotions.
When that little bit of frigid hell was over, and they had checked in, Valdis said no to her fair-haired companion's suggestion that they detour to the bar before going up to their room.
"I need to lie down and get warm," she said. "I need to do it right now."
She lay under the bedcover shivering, fully clothed still except for her shoes, while Ingunn unpacked and changed and ordered dinner from room service.
"Sweetie," said Ingunn, now in a scarlet silk robe emblazoned with a dragon on the back, with her blonde hair unpinned and hanging in waves across her shoulder to her waist, "let me run you a hot bath."
But Valdis did not want a hot bath, or a massage, or any of the roast lamb when it arrived. She let Ingunn kiss her without returning the affection. Her cheek twitched with the contact the way horses twitch when horseflies bite. And then she slept.
She woke to find the other bed moved flush with hers and Ingunn's arm around her, and then she cried a while and then she slept again.
At breakfast she stacked her plate with gravlax (because that was all she wanted and she was ravenous) and began to talk as she ate. Her words flowed nonstop through her mouthfuls. It made for messy eating but she could not help herself. As her hunger was assuaged, all she could think of was her dream. Ingunn needed to know. Because Ingunn was everything. The dream had proved that.
"I was inside my own heart," she said. "and it was filled with ice, floating ice, just like in the lagoon yesterday when you proposed, and I was terrified. I thought how could she love me really when I have a heart like this? I am an ice queen. Like that man who was my husband said. No one can stand to be with me for long. Because I don't know how to love. It's just not in my nature. I was trapped. I wanted out but there was no way out. And then I called your name. And then I heard your voice."
"You said the blue ice was the rarest substance in the world. You said no diamond was as beautiful, no jewel of any kind at all. You said to just look. How the light played on and through it as if drawn there, irresistibly. And I said, are you drawn? And you said sure I am, how could I not be, who do you think is the light?"
"Do you understand?" she said, swallowing and breathing deep and putting down her fork at last. "Am I crazy? Who could have a dream like that?"
They drove on to Ásólfsskáli and then to the hot spring called Seljavallalaug. "I'm sorry to keep you waiting," said Ingunn. Her eyes were closed, the better to savor the divine warmth seeping into her marrow, replenishing her. Loving Valdis was a drain on her powers, but what could she do? Some things were meant to be. All things were meant to be appreciated.
"My dark little love," said Ingunn, pulling Valdis to her in the rising mist. "You are crazy. So we are crazy together. I had that same dream long ago. And I have been looking for you to thank you ever since."
So they floated together with their hands intertwined. Neither knew if the other understood. In that moment, which would last forever or never, neither cared.
A young sheep farmer floating on his back nearby, concealed by the mist, would go to the grave (soon, because he had cancer) with this memory of having witnessed a most profound mystery bringing joy to his own icy blue heart.
24 November 2022
Texas Jim
Jökulsárlón, Iceland
Subcategory:Snow and Ice
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Iceberg, Iceland, Jökulsárlón, blue, blue, close-up, dim, evening, floating, glacier, hour, reflections, twilit