Saturday, December 8, 2007

Imagine... Iceland

One of Chris’ favourite musicians was John Lennon. In addition to John's musical talents, Chris admired his intellect and wit, his outspoken political and social activism, and his deep love for his family. I think we all recognize some similarities!

In October of this year, on what would have been John’s 67th birthday, Yoko Ono officially unveiled the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island, just off the coast of Iceland. The installation is a memorial to John and its tower of light, reaching into the sky, a beacon of hope for worldwide peace – a cause that John worked for and and sang about tirelessly.

Imagine by John Lennon

Chris often talked of one day visiting Iceland, especially after he discovered the band Sigur Rós who hail from that country. I’m not sure where his love of all things Nordic originated but I knew that we would one day see Iceland. I thought we would see it together... I was wrong.

I've made a promise to Chris that I will go to Iceland one day. I plan to scatter some of his ashes at Látrabjarg, an achingly beautiful area known for its fjords, soaring cliffs, and seabird colonies.

Glósóli by Sigur Rós

I think Chris would like that two of his musical favourites are now linked by geography and spirit. Iceland is a fascinating and beautiful country, rugged and cold, proud of its natural beauty and independent spirit… sounds kind of like home doesn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was reading the Western news today and I saw Christopher's name in the memorial list and I stared with shock... I had no idea. I am sorry for your loss, and believe me I know how hollow that phrase rings from a stranger, but it is genuine and heart felt.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Greg Elfers, and I'm 32 years old, I returned to school last fall (2006.)

Christopher was my first TA in my very first University class, and I'm not even sure he would remember me from all of the faces in that MIT class. But I remember him. I was unsure with the technical aspects of writing and Christopher took the time to help me with my citations and bibliography (I have a learning disability and so things that are intuitive to others are difficult to me.) Christopher took the time to give me assistance and never once made me feel dumb.

This is not always the case.

I know the words of a stranger are of little comfort, but please believe me when I say that every essay I write for the rest of my academic life will be in some small part influenced by Christopher's kindness.

I truly hope you take some small part of him to Iceland for it is a breathtaking place, and I will always carry the small piece of himself he so generously gave to me.