Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt. I call her Goddess of the Wild Things. She trapezes through the forest, a professional with the bow, looking after the wild things. I like wild things. I like grasses, and wolves, and oceans, and crashing sounds, and melodic rivers, and boys who talk too much. The Goddess of the Wild Things talks too much too. She’s patient. She’s independent. She’s a leader. She’s competitive. She likes to win, but she likes the process of winning more.
Today I looked up at the Northern Lights from a rocking boat. I thought of Artemis when I saw the green light glimmering and dancing. The Northern Lights are wild things. Artemis killed the only person she’s ever loved, because she let her competitiveness get the best of her. A bet was made with her brother that she couldn’t shoot an arrow into the middle of a glimmer on the horizon. Without a second thought she let her arrow fly, and the glimmer disappeared under the waves, dead. Artemis knew in the moment the arrow burrowed itself into the glimmer she had made a terrible mistake. The glimmer was her lover Orion.
Today we see Orion in the sky trapped in a constellation. I want to think of the Northern Lights as wild things. Something keeping Orion company in the sky, because I want to be able to be patient.
Iceland has made me patient. It has made me small. It has made me strong. Throughout the trip I have experienced so much outside of myself. I saw Golfuss, the giant water fall that looks like a place the Goddesses would chill. I swam in the Blue Lagoon. I saw a mermaid jump into the sea. I allowed the release of the unknown.
“Where are you from?” is a complicated question. I am from countless hours of rides in the dark. I am from tall grasses, and pine trees. I am from Michigan winters, and South Dakota summers. I am from Icelandic moss. Moss is cool because as a wild thing it absorbs. It’s also green like the color of the Northern Lights I saw. The moss allows feet to walk over it. It absorbs where the people have been, but too much trampling and it dies. No matter where I am, be it the States, Iceland, or the sea I want to feel like me. I want to be like the moss and absorb everything around me. I have absorbed so many kind things here.
Artemis is in Iceland. She is hidden in the rocks, in the sea, in the lava fields covered in moss. She is in the women who spoke to me about defending one another. She is in the very pulse of the Northern Lights. I was in the very pulse of the Northern Lights. I am so small, but I am apart of something bigger.
Thank you Iceland. Thank you to Reykjavík Marina. Thank you Special Tours.Thank you Iceland Airwaves. Thank you Kitty Von-Sometime. Thank you Stefanía Pálsdóttir. Thank you Guðrún Jónsdóttir from Stígamót. Thank you Margrét Steinarsdóttir of The Human Rights Centre. Thank you Rósa Guðrún Bergþórsdótti, Guðríður Bolladóttir, and the entire Ministry of Welfare. Thank you Althea who has worked me as hard as I’ve been worked, proving that I could be the best writer I could be.
And finally thank you to the Icelandic women I spoke to who made me feel like as women we were apart of something bigger. They reminded me to stand up for one another. How we need to set ourselves on fire for each other. The Icelandic women I had the opportunities to speak to are all just reflections of Artemis. As a woman who is working hard to be an Artemis I appreciated being around the landscape where Artemis so obviously ruled.