Ginnungagap by mirovia
Yggdrasil whispered. Yggdrasil groaned. I am the colossus. My being fills Ginnungagap. The bitter flame of Muspelheim gnaws at my feet. The searing cold of Niflheim blisters my scalp.
Mimir’s head. Power of tongues. Eye of Odin. Many truths unknown to beast or god do I witness. What are nine days to the Lord of Gallows? Hanging from that terrible tree, they are as a thousand years. I witnessed. I witnessed until I could bear no more and then I fell in upon my own life, to die among these branches, hung and wounded, choked and bleeding. Myself to myself.
My soul struggles to hold fast as all that I had ever known slips away. Many times I would have given up; given myself over to these painful visions that they might end. But each time I am drawn back to that terrible tree. Nine times I die. And nine times I am reborn.
Perhaps I should have let it go, that tormented spirit. Instead, I pulled with all my will, upon blood and soul, forcing each into its former channels. The pain was white hot and clean. I let it wash over me…baptize me. I lived. I learned the runes, learned them screaming.
In Norse mythology, Ginnungagap is the great yawning abyss from which all things arose and into which all things must one day return. Apart from being my second favorite word in all the Germanic languages*, Ginnungagap is a compelling concept not adequately described as a 'void'. Ginnungagap is a magical and power-filled space, fueled by the primordial forces of its borderlands, Muspelheim and Niflheim.
This image is one of those happy accidents, where I started by taking an uncharacteristic step away from my usual sepia palette and just let the painting take its own path.
* My most favorite Germanic word is, of course, 'backpfeifengesicht' - meaning a face badly in need of a fist. Nearly seven thousand living languages in this world and only the Germans could give this all too important concept its own word?