If you’re going to toss back an Einstök or a Gull, well, “Cheers, Mate!” might not do. “Skold!”, translated oh-so-lovingly, as “Skull!” will do. Oh, those viking types. They’re fooling with us.
Troll Skull at Gullfoss
Skold = skull = Schale (bowl) = skull(ing oar), ie scoop = sculpt, and so on. It is a space that fills with the energy that fills emptiness and brings forth life out of emptiness, so, to say it again, outside of trollspeak, “To Luck!”, or “Fortune be with you!” Yes, that’s right, every drink is a lottery!
Except in an early morning snowstorm in April, when you’ve been walking since 5 a.m. and the darned takeaway around the corner is closed tight, still, at. 9. What’s with that, eh! Oh, let’s ask the locals:
Right. Drinks all around, I say. Skold!
Only nine years ago, Icelandic tourism was a simple thing: you drove around the country viewing the things Icelanders found interesting, and they served you coffee, put you up for the night, and cooked a lamb for you. An old bridge, for instance…
… or a waterfall.
… a troll at Dimmuborgir…
… and some smooching among the birches, the trees that helped to gain them a country.
Now, pain.In the waste water from a power plant. You, dear visitor, are an industry now. Iceland shows your face in a mirror.
Yet in the small towns now, far from Reykjavik, people are tired of us all; they want us to go away. In Grindavik, an old woman even rammed me with her shopping cart in the grocery store. “Fair enough,” I thought. But I remember the generosity and gratitude that began this madness…
… and trust it will continue.
When you live on Earth, that is?
Iceland calls to many people in many different ways. Svartifoss called me.
It changed my life.
May it change yours.
The manly trolls of Gulfoss…
… and the worms (um, gold collecting dragons, you know the type) of Gulfoss…
… the Golden Falls …
… look across to the female trolls across the gorge, which are riding a worm…
.. and if the worm has the head of a ram, well, this is Iceland, after all.
And the flag … this flag:
… flies between them.
So now you know, too.
So much of Iceland is a volcanic wilderness.
1000 years ago, the farms of Kaldada and Sandar were overwhelmed with lava. Glacial water finds its way between the old earth and the new.
Hraunfosser near Bjarnafoss
And even bog cotton. It is life that is the wonder.
Geysirs are fun for humans, but look at them, trekking up hill.
Making new humans is funner.
The question is: who has the right to erode Iceland? The Icelanders, by inviting rock stackers?
Or the rock stackers themselves? Iceland invites visitors to view nature.
Human nature is what the modern world can deliver instead.
Be careful what you wish for. Ethical dilemmas don’t go away by wishing so.