Arctic Dreams

It was to be a meaningful visit to Iceland, the Lofoten Islands and Finnish Lapland – a whirlwind adventure that culminated in one of the greatest heartaches I have ever known. There, I met a person whom I had admired for a long time and whose work resonated a little through mine. Without thinking, I gave him the key to my protracted downfall, though I wasn’t in the least prepared for him to use it. The subsequent scramble to gather my broken parts was harrowing to say the least. Herein hangs the nearly-forgotten and frozen tale of how we met.

'Mist Falls', Skógafoss, Iceland
In the sensory serenity of the thundering Skógafoss waterfall.

'This Empty World', Reynisdrangar, Vìkurfjara, Iceland
Rushing in before my fading eyes.

'Cave of Diamonds', Breiðamerkurjökull, Iceland
Tiptoeing past frozen waterfalls.

'Shine On', Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Push the colours through a prism back to white, sync our different pulses into a blinding light.

'What's the World Got in Store?', Goðafoss, Iceland
Dwarfed by the magnificent Goðafoss, it was difficult to imagine a life previous or where we'd go to from thereon.

'The Edge of Glory', Goðafoss, Iceland
You'll never see the end of the world while you're travelling with me.

'Snow Flowers', Mývatn, Iceland
A quiet, still morning at Mývatn. We waited for a sunrise that didn't bring much colour though the tranquility made it worthwhile.

'Smoke Dreams', Namafjall Hverarond, Iceland
Beneath a frozen sky promising an impossible happiness that can never be realised.

'Secret Trails', Mývatn, Iceland
What bird is that?

'Infinity', Aldeyjarfoss, Iceland
Let the world just slip away.

'Pura Vida', Akureyri, Iceland
Something a little like this.

'The Drinking Dragon', Hvítserkur, Iceland
On any given day, when the tide recedes, these beautiful rivets are left in the sand near Hvítserkur, a 15m high basalt stack. This was taken at sunset, after we had scrambled down the side of the icy mountain to the beach.

'Stormy Days Ahead', Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Remember the first time I told you 'I love you'? It was warm and safe in our perfect world. You yawned and I had to say it over. "I said 'I love you'," I said... you didn't say a word.

'Dragon's Eye', Uttakleiv beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Everything is much clearer with hindsight.

'Song of the Undersea', Flakstad beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
There's a song that I hear when I'm under the sea, when I'm half a world away.

'The Great Dividing Range', Lofoten Islands, Norway
Turn the page if those mountains make you miserable. The Great Dividing Range merely proves we're indivisible.

'The Golden Age of Aviation', Lofoten Islands, Norway
While in Lofoten, we flew in a Cessna and took in this breathtaking view. There's nothing more exhilarating than soaring high above in the sky. It gives you a sense of freedom that rivals any scrap of fear that your subconscious self may harbour.

'Romance is Boring', Lofoten Islands, Norway
Fly away with me.

'Where Were We?', Lofoten Islands, Norway
Towards the limit of maps...

'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks', Lofoten Islands, Norway
Oh, tomorrow.

'Acquiescence', Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Standing on this beach, I realised that he was my weakness and held the key to my downfall.

'Cracked Heirloom', Lake Storvatnet, Lofoten Islands, Norway
He hands her the cut-out heart like a cracked heirloom.

'The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future', Skagsanden Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
There is nothing more beautiful than losing yourself in a place with someone who makes you feel like nothing else matters.

'We're In This Together', Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
My favourite dreams of you still wash ashore.

'Running Out Of Time', Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
I'm not finished; you're not by my side. I haven't found what I was hoping to find.

'A Certain Romance', Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
The secret door to our private universe swings behind us.

'Space Between', Haukland Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
You beckoned me to turn around. I did as you said and stumbled straight into the firing line of a million bullets.

'The Hopes & Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics', Hamnøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Tell me that your heart still exists.

'The World is Not Enough', Iso-Syöte, Finnish Lapland
...but it is such a perfect place to start.

'Dinosaur's Lament', Iso-Syöte, Pudasjärvi, Finnish Lapland
Even dinosaurs need a sweet hug in a mug once in a while.

'How Could You Be So False With Me?', Riisitunturi National Park, Posio, Finnish Lapland
I have nothing which I love better than you.

'First Frost', Posio, Finnish Lapland
We were driving around in the snow, singing along to cheesy songs from the 80's when we spotted this tranquil scene by the side of the road. So we stopped where we shouldn't have and shot through an open car window before the clouds took hold. If we lived here, we'd be home now.

'Heart Swells', Myllykoski, Kuusamo, Finnish Lapland
We got lost following the GPS on our way to Myllykoski but somehow, made it in time before sundown. It was a difficult scramble in very deep snow to this little lookout where we were able to get a good view in fading light of the small pieces of ice floating in circles about the Kitka river. It was a time when my heart swelled with tidal waves of happiness - nothing else in the world mattered at that point and I'd hoped that it never would again. But now it's just the three of us: Me, his shadow and his echo. I do not believe that I've ever felt any more alone.