Monthly Archives: April 2017

Secret, Spiritual Iceland

Presumably, the boundary in the image below meant something once. I’m no expert, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to be a turf wall, laboriously cut and stacked, replaced by a wire fence, and replaced by nothing at all except memories of where a boundary once was.
And again:

This is not likely a sign of increasing wealth. Nor is this near-obsolete set of boundaries at Kirkjubærjarklaustur. There’s a stone wall, and a row of birches, for the graveyard, and then a mysterious fence, with one electrified strand, even, serving no purpose now except to mark a boundary for a summer student with a weed whacker.

Fortunately, some boundaries are still full of power. Here’s the sky above the Hvitserkur ogre.

Still, these other boundaries speak of something profoundly Icelandic. Here’s the churchyard again, with its wall…

… and without (by leaning over it.)

Trees and stone: that’s two walls, one for those looking out and one for those looking in. The turf wall is no human barrier…

… and neither is the churchyard:

But it matters a lot whether you are looking in to life, from grass to stone to trees to grass, or looking out from grass to trees to stone to grass. Isn’t all of this the behaviour of people who have spent a long, long time with sheep?

And with the gentle ways of herding them?

This is old, old technology, that only works with respect that goes out at the same time it comes in.

And understands life as a series of seasons.  This is not the modern world, yet it is still alive, and you can enter it in Iceland, and then, well, and then you’ve walked through the gate.

Make no mistake. The image of Reykjavik above and the one of Smyrlabjörg below are the same.No one will tell you why. If you have to ask, you haven’t walked through the air to the air.

Wild Golf

Right. So maybe you see some tractor ruts. That’s tourist thinking, eh.

This is a city in the West Fjords. Yes, that’s the way they look out here. But, more than that…. this is the þingeyri golf course. Yeah, yeah, in Canada where I live, golf is a gentrified sport, reducing indigenous and agricultural land to suntans and beer. In Iceland, it’s a bit different. I like that. A lot.

Note the amenities. Mowing crew.

Spotters. Lookie-loos.

Water trap.

Clubhouse. Air conditioned.

Volcanic grunge. Very challenging.

9 holes, par 78. Watch that ankle. Here’s the first aid team. 

Lumpy bits. But lovely.

Really lumpy.

Real lovely. A bit soggy in bits.

But a great city view.

 

Lose your heart in the West Fjords. You won’t regret it. Fore!