Home in Skriðuklaustur

The residency begins. Gunnar Gunnarson was there to greet me. The tree growing out of his head, that’s my wish for growth and spirit here. gunnarGunnar Gunnarson at Skriðuklaustur

Gunnar came here when there was nowhere else to go but to go back home. It was 1939. The war he had dreaded was on the horizon, and some of its shadow stuck to him. He resolved to go back farming.

reddoor

Skriðuklaustur Chicken Coop

The farming didn’t pan out all that well. My father and grandfather came to Canada from Germany with the same dream, and under very similar pressures, one after the first half of the Twentieth Century War and one after the second half of it. I am the dream they made, and so when I see things like this …

rustMy Father’s and Grandfather’s Tools at the Top of the World

The remains of Gunnar’s dream, Skriðuklaustur

… I know it is time to roll up my sleeves and get back farming. Tomorrow my work at Skriðuklaustur begins. I intend to farm here, but in words, and at a very deep level. Look for my discussion of the life in rock, as the first words from this new and old ground. It feels great here. I am here to honour Gunnar and my own ancestors, and to bring their stories together in the living ground of words. As I came close to the Klaustur, this is who saw me first …

horsesHorses in Fljotsdalur

What a great welcome!

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