Why the fuck would you go there.

The occasional response when talking about the recent trip to Iceland. Hailed as the land of "fire and Ice", it was mostly ice. So people weren't too far off in thinking we were crazy for going there the last week of February.

My mom and I have been talking about taking a trip now for the past year. Something we both needed. We had never gone anywhere with just ourselves and with my older brother and younger sister married and occupied with children of their own, it just seemed timely. We also planned it relatively spur of the moment at the family Christmas party back in December.

Up until we left February 21, I had been busting my ass like a mad woman. Getting the studio up and running with little projects, working on my new line for the show at the UICA, getting insurance, security, doing taxes, continuing my volunteer work at the YWCA, ship out work for another show in Chicago, part-time job, and i'm sure I did some eating and sleeping in there at some point...

I signed up for a vacation to get away from work for a while but had I known the chaos that would ensue through the months of February and March to meet deadlines I would have pushed the date back another 4 weeks for a proper "I fucking did this" celebration.

Life though. 

Iceland was a whole other world. Stretches of black sands and sharp mountain peaks reaching violently into the ominous mists above. Pure white and gale force winds. Green mosses covering rolling swaths of land and rock. Blue glaciers and steaming hot blue thermal pools reeking luxuriously of sulphur. Waterfalls everywhere. Bubbling acid stink pools of mud. Mountains steaming. For a land mass that is twice the size of Michigan, we experienced a lot of land formations on our 6 day trip on the ring road around the island.

It's always been easy to connect with my mom; she's non-judgmental and therefore easy to be honest with. We had a fair amount of deep conversations at random moments through the trip. One morning we found ourselves both awake at 3 in the morning. The wind howling as we lied awake in our cozy bed, nibbling on PB&J's and swashing it down with room temperature beer. We talked about the hardest moments in our life and all the dark spaces in between. There were moments of trying to find the humor in it all. Sometimes we just teared up.