I am still reading The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner, for my book group, and just finished chapter 5, “Iceland: Happiness is Failure.” I am in love with Iceland, and particularly with Hilmar the Happy Heathen.
I was reading about Hilmar just in time for Thor’s Day in the blog: we first meet him in the book wearing “a small silver pendant: the hammer of Thor, the Norse god.”
Turns out heathens/pagans/Vikings/Norse gods 1) weren’t quite as violent as we are told and 2) love cappuccino.
Wait, I might have muddled that up a bit. No matter! Icelandic mythology, in the book called the Eddas, “could be a muddle of thought, but,” according to Hilmar the Happy Heathen, “everyone needs a belief system, in order to have these transcendental moments.”
As Alice in Wonderland might say, in a happy mood, “Happier and happier.”
Anyhoo, I find Iceland endearing, and right after reading that chapter, I cooked dinner while listening to Bjork. Vespertine, the swan CD. (See above, and click title for details.) It has a song on it called “Pagan Poetry.” Hilmar mentored Bjork. Also, he met Joseph Campbell, a favorite of mine.
So I am really happy and transcendent right now, and will save this and post it tomorrow morning, Thor’s Day, right before I head off to the cemetery….
Wishlist, constantly: W. H. Auden, Letters from Iceland