Am I somewhere?
Somehow, one gets the feeling of being – an individual and part of a whole, a community, a settlement, a nation. We reflect ourselves in the people around us as they reflect themselves in us; we become endless variations of the concept of ourselves, we act out our reflection, a reflection of a reflection. The Icelandic self-image is like glass, strong and fragile: it reveals success and braggadocio and dogged determination, and with it comes a faint smell of guano under the cologne, a brusque managerial “all right then” echoes under the techno beat, Icelandic happiness hinges on hard work, we connect our well-being to prosperity. But one can never be sure, never completely sure, never sure: Was I dreaming? Am I awake?Was I somewhere else? The foundation trembles under you: perhaps there is no palace, only a work shed, perhaps you’re just on break and not stationed in real life? Perhaps this is a lie, a fleeting dream, someone playing with us, was I somewhere, doing something?
Was I dreaming?
And then all of a sudden you’re haunted by this memory of forgotten pleasure, sure of having once experienced bliss and the wonderful incommunicable. You convince yourself that there is a place in the universe where all of this can be found. This is a place where you are at home and it is far and yet so close. Within us is a palace and one fine day all the lights there will be switched on again. Somewhere deep within us lives the memory of eternity.
Guðmundur Andri Thorsson