“There’s no one on the island telling them they’re not good enough, so they just go ahead and sing and paint and write ” – Eric Wiener
Nakedness just sucks. Yet, there is no way to avoid it. My family took a beautiful trip to the land of fire and ice (yes, that was a Game of Thrones reference). Little did I know that during this Icelandic adventure, I would bare myself to others, emblematically its people.
Iceland is a captivating land. It’s people are equally as enchanting. Cold days turn in to frigid nights; however, the warmth that permeates from the Nordic culture within its people melts the thickest forms of ice. Iceland called to a deep place within my soul. The quiet within my being that longs for intransitive beauty. This unbridled nature that seemingly is untouched by human hand.
My truest self felt the alluring peace and stillness of this ancient land. Drinking coffee became a transcendence in to spiritual realm, I have long forgotten. The landscape evokes a vulnerability within; a whisper from life painting it’s greatest work. The Northern Lights will beckon the artist in us all. You owe it to yourself to seek out these dancing hues in the sky. No words, I can write will do justice. They are fickle and appear at only their will. I saw just a glimpse of one and was mesmerized.
Reykjavik is the largest city, in Iceland. Bakeries, shops, restaurants and inviting steel buildings enveloped my senses. Watching the jovial spirit that ensared our family was surely enhanced by Iceland’s dramatic features.
This is where the road takes a metaphorical turn. My family decided to make a visit to the community outdoor pool; all of Iceland pools are outside and heated by geothermal. My pride wants to warn you, that as an American there have been few experiences in which, I was expected to shower fully naked in a room full of open showers, with other women. However, with my vast array of body image issues; I had what some may call, an adult sized tantrum.
Before removing one article of clothing, I had already informed my husband that I would be going back to hotel and never returning to this locker room. My husband handed me a towel and reminded me that this was about giving the children an experience, of a lifetime.
Anger filled my thoughts and my heart rapidly beat. Slowly, I undressed and quickly, I ran to the shower. Never had I known a shorter shower that seemed to have a lasted a lifetime. Once, I snatched my towel from the rack; reality hit. Not one person in that shower room seemed to have noticed me.
Life again reminded me that my body image haunts my most vulnerable moments. As I walked to the pool on that particular night, I realized that my image of myself was greater than the opinion of those surrounding me. I held my head a little higher that night, knowing I had removed one bar within my perceived prison cell.