11 Jul 2017

On birds of passage and poetry and aeroplanes - and about that first iPod

Saturday Teitur perfoms his 2003 debut album Poetry & Aeroplanes at G! Festival. Read a fan’s memories and reflections about how life has happened with the album playing in the background.


It’s the day before the summer nights. The long ones. The ones that last the rest of our lives, where we have the authority to chose what to fill our existence with as we wake up to greet each day. But I’d rather stay asleep, because tomorrow I’m a woman. Today we’re dressed in red.

Some in blue. Others in black, purple, white, green, grey, yellow. Individually we have chosen our colours to represent this collective rite of passage. We were finally graduating and dressed up to mark the ultimate mandatory transition of our lives. The leap into the eternal summer had arrived. From here on every choice we make is supposedly our own. From here on we wake up as women. As long as I’d been a girl I had woken up to the same sights, only slightly modified by the ever-changing temper of the weather beyond my reach. My bedroom window faced the river and my kitchen window faced the ocean, but when I climbed the mountain behind my house I could see the sun set fire to the horizon, and my longing told me somewhere out there I’d belong.

You say you’re alright, but Josie it’s time, you gotta get your feet on the ground. She says no, don’t you see we have wings, it’s the funniest things, it’s just that no one knows. No one knows.

The birds of passage had learnt to fly, and I had chosen to leave.

My destination was anywhere so unknown I could become part of the unknown. I flew for hours to cover enough distance from my waters that I ended up being surrounded by mountains. That is where I bought my first iPod.

It was white and big and had a really satisfying click wheel to browse its content. It contained songs and videos and even ran solitaire like I’d used to play while drinking tea with my grandmother at her kitchen table. But in the huge world reality changed, mostly because relativity changed, so there were a million people around me, but the city was still small, and the million people around me were all strangers, so my universe was still small, and I listened to songs on my iPod and I played solitaire on it as well, but this far away from my grandmother’s kitchen table surrounded by a million strangers all it produced was solitude. There’s a world outside her window, anywhere the wind blows, and beyond the mountains I could still see a horizon that was bigger than this city, and there had to be more than this.

There’s so much I have still to understand. I have always known the longing, and sometimes momentarily the love. But as cyclical love has risen and fallen as the waves crashing on the beach only to subside right after, the longing has been the continuous fire that fuels my eternal summer. Being raised by storms has left every other landscape underwhelming. So I left the mountains just like I had left the waters, but wherever I went I was still small. When I closed my eyes and opened my mind the rhythm inside me didn’t match the sounds around me, and I couldn’t find the words to make these surroundings rhyme. In my mind the night wasn’t supposed to be impenetrable black, it was supposed to be ten different shades of blue dancing together until dawn returned. In my mind I recognised the voices around me, but more importantly they recognised mine.

There’s too much doubt and not enough dare, there’s too much decision everywhere. And existing between love and heartbreak there is a forgotten pendulum, where the long summer nights never go black, where relativity is small, and so is reality, so the rhythm matches the rhyme I have been longing to sing. I’m still small, but everything else is so small that I finally fit. The old sturdy iPod with the tiny display and oddly satisfying click wheel has been replaced with the newest touch screen model, but the other three have decided to return. The bird of passage, the poetry, and the aeroplanes are all coinciding once more where day is endless shades of blue, where time keeps to itself, and longings are put on hold to embrace the calm of the familiar. To be part of something so insignificant my presence gives it meaning. Oh in these strange nights, I think that I’ve travelled enough. Poetry and aeroplanes, and I’m tired of waiting for love.

Tonight I close my eyes and belong for the night. But too soon dusk will return, and I will fly away to continue my search for something that fills my mind with blue.


Teitur performs Poetry & Aeroplanes on the main stage “Sandurin” on Saturday at 8 pm.

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