The Spirit of the Sagas

As we get older we progress through our lives. Starting and ending careers, getting married, moving continents, playing the motions of each new day, the pinocchios of some cruel writer's play. Much lies beyond our ability to change, what we can control is how we ascribe meaning to each action. Each of us, despite his drives of pleasure and fear, can choose his way of seeking beauty and giving meaning to life, but like any skill it takes practice, and like any skill, we can learn from those who came before.

If you want to develop your sense of beauty and meaning you should read the sagas. These are stories of men and women who, despite relatively simpler conditions, find meaning in all manner of ambition and goals. Some feud their neighbors, some gather riches, others sail for new lands, some fight for fortune, some for love, others lust... These sagas deal with the problem of meaning. They are imbued with the rich tapestry of philosophy from their originating culture, the Norse, Icelandic culture.

If we are to one day find beauty in this world, it is important that the Sagas are read and that their spirit does not die. If I can give one gift to my friend, Vincent, for his wedding it would be that world. And if you won't read a classic Icelandic literature, at least read: