I've had trouble finding the words to convey my empathy for Icelanders, who now face such enormous economic woes. As I was reading some of my favorite Icelands blogs, I was struck in particular by two posts from Maria Roff of Iceland Eyes. These posts-- Frozen (10/9/08) and Hanged (10/23/08) --both consider the current situation thoughtfully, and the many comments attest to how Maria's deft exploration of different perspectives resonates with her readers. She looks at how Icelanders are being portrayed now that they have gone from being one of the wealthiest nations to...what? Beggars? A beaten, broken people? On the contrary, Maria sees the national spirit this way:
We are survivors, adventurers, raiders. We are lusty, passionate, creative. We are molded by this landscape and are both strengthened and humbled by it.
Although these posts have been up for a few weeks, I encourage you to read them if you haven't already (as well as the comments). In one of her responses to a reader comment on "Hanged," Maria says:
I'm so grateful for all of your sympathy and thoughts. They serve to remind that we, as a nation and culture, are loved.That's what I wanted to express. Thanks, Maria.