I know it's still summer for most of you but for some reason today I'm thinking about the Ice Hotel in northern Sweden. The hotel is in the village of Jukkasjärvi, north of the Arctic Circle. Every spring the hotel and accompanying art exhibition melts back into the Torne River from where the ice is harvested. And the following winter a new hotel with all-new artwork is built again. Sounds kind of sisyphean, doesn't it?
There's even a bar and a church!
Would you stay at the Ice Hotel? The rooms are about 17-23 degrees Fahrenheit and the beds are covered in reindeer hides! I don't know if I'm brave enough to try it, at least not without warming myself with some Swedish schnaps at the bar first.
I guess my thoughts were tapping into the zeitgeist this week, because I just read this piece about being real on social media, which made me think of these subpar pictures of myself; and also this, on the myths and realities of doing what you love, which I wrote about (in considerably less detail and thoughtfulness) here. One of my readers, Laura, left a thought-provoking comment on my blog and I think this piece addresses it: it's all about the side-hustle.
This week I'm also working my way through the New York Times Magazine piece on the recent history of the Arab world, and it's been fascinating. This is the first time in its history that the magazine has dedicated an entire issue to one single article, so it's a significant read. I'm abysmally ignorant of the history of that part of the world, and reading this is changing that.
Tomorrow we're packing up and heading back to the Midwest for a ten-day vacation. We'll spend a couple nights in Chicago with friends and family, and then we're heading to my hometown, Kalamazoo. We're excited to see everyone but also, you know, dreading the two ten-hour flights with little ones.
What are you reading this week? Anything to recommend?
All photos by Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se. Artists who created the suite: Petros Dermatas and Ellie Souti.