Jörd

A photograph, combined with the prompt “birth,” inspired me to write a mythic snippet about a floating creature. Further research added details I hadn’t conceived of in the first draft. (See my notes below.)

I was not the only one inspired by this piece. The Houston non-profit group, WriteSpace, located at Silver Street, held a writing workshop for youth and one of them chose this photo for inspiration also–and did an amazing job.

I wrote to Ms. Glover about her wondrous photo. This was our short conversation–

Me: Hello! Your fabulous photograph, Ice Mountain II, displayed at Houston’s Silver Street Studios, inspired me to write a flash fiction piece prompted by the theme “birth.” I wanted to share it with you, just for kicks. Hope you enjoy it. Thank you for capturing wondrous sights like these and sharing them with the world. Cheers.

Ms. Glover: Thank you  for sending me your wonderful story. So pleased my Ice mountain inspired you. Best wishes Gina

The photo and the story–

2016-03-29
Jörd
I arrived in a storm millions of years ago and I remain here long after time ceased to matter. Once submerged underwater, drowning in shame, I gradually broke free. I rose from the vast depths. Born again.
I float thru icy waters, lonely and cold. Years of blank darkness exchanged for periwinkle sky, shape-shifting pearlescent clouds, the glorious brightness of sunrises, sunsets, stars.
My face is frozen aquamarine, streaked with gray brokenness. Rays of a hot orb, the sun, the brightest star in this sky, hit my exposed being, erasing me little by little, all day long. At night, the Icelandic wind sends sleeting rain to rebuild my green-tinged, icy artifice.
A powerful force pulls me toward my future. Though I was not sent here to catalogue this world, I wish I had been charged with this task. Instead, in humiliation, I, mother of Thor, was cast to this watery world in disgrace. Rejected.
Though once adored by Odin, I now masquerade as rock, frozen compounds adrift over time, over time unchecked. Vessels made by weak, mortal hands scream at me, piercing my solitude, accompanied with strange salutations, “Iceberg ahoy!”
They do not know my real name. Like the Valkyrie, they do not bow in my presence, even as they stare in wonder, admiring my face. But, like time, my opponents no longer matter. Arisen from the depths, I drift with a new purpose, certain my destiny awaits me.
This is my reply—“Ahoy!
I am among you.
Drifting.
Waiting.
I am Jörd.
I
am
earth.”

 

Notes:

Jörd, ( Old Norse: “Earth”, ) in Norse mythology, a giantess, mother of the deity Thor and mistress of the god Odin.

***

Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of a glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. It is now 1.5 kilometres away from the ocean’s edge. It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, as glacial retreat extended its boundaries. The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.

 

 Gina Glover’s series of photos is compiled into a book entitled The Metabolic Landscape.

 

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