She brought tea and sat across from me in a large, beautiful, velvet chair. She started,
“When I was young, I lived in a village on the southern coast of Iceland. It was across from a waterfall, and lava flowed around it like rivers of hot glass. The volcano was something we didn’t fear. It had become a wall, a barrier, and our protection from our enemies. There was only one way in and one way out. It was a secret that only my villagers knew, and we guarded it with our lives.
Years before, a young warrior had fallen and broken his leg while on a hunt, and as he was laying there, a strange man walked up to him. He asked if he needed help. He said, ‘Please help me! I have a family, a young son and a beautiful daughter.’ As you know, everything in life has its price. He told the man he would carry him back to the village, but the man refused. The warrior tried to offer another idea, but the old man started to walk away. The wounded man called him back and agreed to his terms. The warrior was returned, and the old man left. Every year on the same day, he would return and ask for a years worth of caribou meat. We did what we were told for as many years as I can remember. I was a young girl when I first saw the man we called ‘Bone and Blood’. He carried a wood staff, and it was always covered in shards of bones and spots of blood. As grew older, I hated this man. He took what wasn’t his. I grew, married, and I had a happy life, but when I was in my early thirties, we had a cold year. It was colder than any other I can remember, and the caribou left us that season so we grew thin. When ‘Bone and Blood’ came and asked for his bounty, we couldn’t or wouldn’t give him anything. We didn’t even have enough for our tribe. He became angry, and he slammed his staff against a rock. The staff split, and the pieces flew out and pierced the hearts of every villager. When I was hit, I fell and pain surged through my chest. I laid on the ground wishing to die. He walked up to me and knelt down. He looked and me, and I saw a tinge of sadness. He said, ‘You are the daughter of the warrior.’ I could feel coldness and the blood slipping out of my body. He screamed and muttered words I didn’t understand, and a burst of light flew from his chest and into mine.
I must have slept for a thousand years because when I awoke, I had to dig myself out of dirt and rot.
Ikon, I am the oldest person you will every know. I’ve seen more than anyone you will ever know. I am stronger than anyone you will ever know. I’ve seen more sadness and had more moments of joy than you will ever have. I was born in the years you know now as the Ice Age, and I can never die. It’s the only thing I really want now. It’s the only thing I can’t have. My hair is white because of time and tears. For you, everything in life is about timing: sex, love, and finding the right avocado while walking through the market.
For me, time does not exist, and that is why I am always late to our appointments.”
“Well then, I forgive you, Natalie. Just supply the tea.”
Ikon Republik- I am a photographer based in Salt Lake City Utah. I am currently not accepting new models or work. Please check back later if you are interested in working with me. Thank you..
Note: The story above is not real, but Natalie is real. She is a friend, and sometimes, I wonder whether I enjoy talking to her more than I do taking photographs of her. She’s not always late, but she always makes me tea or coffee. 🙂