It’s been 14 days since I’ve been situated in Iceland and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the landscape, sunsets, and the wildlife it offers. I catch myself trying to document the beauty with my camera even though I know it’s impossible, yet I still try. Right now, there are 923 photos and 161 videos on my phone. There is one place I’ve been desperately wanting to photograph but I am also aware that I can’t and it will not do it justice. You might think it’s the looming mountains, the majestic horses flocking in the field or even the light that makes time seem frozen. Those are all true but the Blönduós pool in the Sports Centre is what I’m talking about.
Prior to this experience, Kathleen mentioned the pool and the sense of community it offers to all the residents in Blönduós, especially the older folks. I was excited that a pool exists, and it was a place to relax and (maybe) get my exercise. I was also very intrigued about the coffee/hot tub ritual which Google translates from Icelandic as “open, always hot in the jug”. However, I didn’t put too much thought into it.
Now fast forward to my arrival in Iceland
I had a short end of the stick coming to Blönduós as my flight was delayed and a series of unfortunate events came after. Luckily the environment and the positive vibes from the cohort immediately evaporated my negative feelings. I was touched by gestures of warm hugs and smiling faces as the class met me at the gas station. I noticed a kind and relaxing energy exulting from the group, and some seem to have damp and wet hair from the pool. I was excited to finally arrive, and even though it was difficult to settle down with all that excitement, I eventually did. The next morning, I felt that same kind and relaxing energy but this time everyone was raving about this magical pool. I was hesitant about everyone’s reviews, but I knew the best way was to try it myself. Ever since that first time, I swear I have never looked back. In an unexpected way, the pool has become part of my rhythm and routine of some sort. I use the sauna as a mediative space and many of my thoughts on my art-making process have been found there. The hot pool is where I socialize and say hello to friendly strangers from Iceland or other visiting members. By now I think this is the part where I give a comprehensive description of my transformative experience, but words can’t do it justice just like a photo. The best way I can elaborate is to see you there!
Hot tip: you need to always finish off with the 5 degrees tub (preferably 1 minute or more)
Jacky Lo, MA Student, Art Education