Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hilmar the Happy Heathen

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.


Maureen said...

Bjork has issued a new album. I find her work fascinating.

JulieK said...

I once flew to Iceland on Icelandic Airlines and I am not making this up. The Land of Fire and Ice is very cool. And hot. Depending.

Kathleen said...

Maureen, yes, we hear new Bjork on the radio--it just takes me a while!

Julie, that's so neat! New plan (involves winning the lottery): spend half the year in Iceland and half in Cuba (also involves end of a regime/embargo and general bad feelings between Cuba and U.S. I'm thinking this might be accomplished if I befriend Bjork and take her on a visit to Havana....)

Cathy said...

We just had our local Pagan Pride Day, and I met a guy who'd made himself the neatest Thor's Hammer, all hand-welded. It had to be the most masculine piece of jewelry I've ever come across. We sell a lot of Thor's hammers, mostly replicas with sweet nordic curlicues all over them, to both men and women.

Kathleen said...

I would love to see a necklace with Thor's hammer on it, or Maxwell's silver hammer.