Today is a very significant day. It is a day in which I have been listening to Sigur Rós constantly because something very beautiful happened on this day, one year ago. My life changed. I experienced something beyond me, something that still makes me shake and tremble to this day- I saw Sigur Rós live. April 10th, 2013, I saw Sigur Rós in the flesh and my life has never been the same. I have this ticket next to me, marking the exact seat, the exact time, the exact location in which I fell apart and died, came back to life, and felt an intense beauty I didn’t think I would ever experience.
I still look at the ticket and laugh because the words SIGUR ROS should really be SIGUR RÓS, and I think it’s funny how learning Icelandic has made me come to the conclusion that mistakes like that will always bother me. Just like the way ae is not the same as æ anymore. It is strange to think that a year ago I hadn’t much of a clue what Icelandic was. I was just like others; I said, “Icelandic?? Thats a language??” and laughed. It took falling apart in tears in front of Jónsi on that stage to realize that yes, Icelandic is a language, and yes, it expresses more than the soul can surmount into words. I have no doubt about this.
A year ago, Icelandic was just a hum in my ears. Now it is a language. It is a way of expressing, a way to communicate a beauty I didn’t know how to communicate before. I discovered that beauty was endless as long as I had a way to express it.
After the night of April 10th 2013, “endless” became a word I associated pure beauty with. One of Sigur Rós’s albums, Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust” (translated to “With a Buzz in our Ears we Play Endlessly”), chimed into my mind like the first notes I had ever heard from them. Months before the concert, I came to define my life with this simply coined phrase. I spent 18 years of my life living with this constant, dull buzz in my ears, yet I kept going, and going, and going. It was a painful buzz, one of confusion and ache, and I felt that I had to keep going because it was a noise and inconvenience I had to overcome in my life. When I found Sigur Rós, that buzz became a melody. It was something I didn’t just have to endure, but something I could play along with. With a harmonious buzz in my ears, I played endlessly. Endlessly. In Icelandic, “Endalaust.” That day after the concert, I had the word tattooed onto my forearm, endalaust, a constant reminder that beauty was always an endless ache.
This endlessness to me was not linear, it didn’t flow like time, into the future. Rather, it was cyclical. It circled back around, over and over again, like a ouroboros unknowingly eating its own tail. I came to place my moment with Sigur Rós on this endless loop, hoping that one day I would loop back to the moment, and feel the same way I felt, standing between myself and a beauty only Icelandic had ever induced.
A year ago today I started this loop, I started circling, curving, like a flower curling towards a sun. I’m not quite where I started yet though, I still have three more months until I am reunited with a feeling that I didn’t know I could have ever experienced. And I will be experiencing it for a second time. In three months I will step off of a plane into a heartland of beauty and wonder, a land half covered by ice, half covered by delicate Icelandic melodies. In three months I will be in Iceland.
It is crazy to think that I have spent a year now waiting for this moment, patiently, patiently, waiting, endlessly, patiently, curving, curling, reaching, endlessly, patiently, endalaust. I have taken up a new language, I have fallen in love with a country I have never been to, I have felt more alive. A year ago today I had about 5 dollars in a savings account and now I am approaching 6 grand. Wow. To think that passion can create new realities.
I am listening to Sigur Rós right now and crying a little and I will continue to listen to them all night and all week and all month and for these next three months as I patiently wait for my moment with Iceland to come.
The singer that attracted my attention towards Faroese and Icelandic was Eivör Palsdöttir. After some years finally I applied for a language course in Iceland and hopefully it will be confirmed. This is an Icelandic requiem performed by Eivör https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSdc49hNmbk