Author Archives: Harold Rhenisch

About Harold Rhenisch

www.haroldrhenisch.com

Dangerous Icelandic Lagoons

Lagoons remind us that the “shore” is a zone made as much by the sea as by the earth.

And no place for humans. It is a dangerous place, where energies are not settled.

We can visit, but to live there? No, we’re too fragile. And yet, from them we draw life. No, not this one:That’s the effluent of a geothermal power plant, sexed up. Don’t be fooled.

The Impromptu Art Galleries of Iceland

Farmer Art

Tourist Art

Guesthouse ArtGovernment Art

Really!

Ewe making art.

Elvish art viewer.

Tern  art.

Tourists who think they are in Köln art.

Tourist art.

4×4 Art

Elf art.

Local tourist board art. (Really. They lay down netting to prevent overpopulation and erosion, the bane of puffin sociability.)

Teenagers running the wool shop and campground art.

Tourist stacking art, with tern artist.

Iceland is art!

Iceland: Not Always “Green”

A luxury hotel for the Northern Lights Crowd on the South Coast, and in front of the construction site, surely, the most carbon-wasteful billboard imaginable. The amount of rubber that wears off those tires joins the rubber that wears off the hundreds of thousands of cars rushing past every summer, too.

But I bet the hotel is planning on letting you keep your towels for an extra day without laundering them. Truth is, the carbon footprint of the concrete that goes into every building in Iceland can hardly be paid for by being “green” for a lifetime.

Two Kinds of Icelandic Forests, Both Magical

There are tall, soaring birch forests, like these in Ásbyrgi, some five metres tall, that shelter sheep…

…and their are small, intimate forests you have to lie down in a pasture to see, which shelter flies. The forest below in Neskaupstaðir might be short, and might fade and rise annually with the sun, but its trees are surely exotic and wondrous. Some of the trees are even copses of flowers.

They offer different kinds of intimacy and bring you differently into the land. In both cases, when you look up again, or step out, you are a different person. That’s because forests are persons. You become them.

The Survival of Paganism in Iceland

When Icelanders converted to Christianity after the decision of þorgeier the Lawgiver at the þing in 999, they allowed for private worship of pagan beliefs; public worship was reserved for Christianity. This view south from Starmyri, in the East of Iceland…


… shows just what remains of that decision, as it has worked itself out over 1,000 years +. The trolls are still watching out to sea! They’re not public, of course. That’s reserved for the separation into logical categories that is the Christian legacy, and yet there they are, only remaining in the land, where the Norse settlers placed them, after they brought them with them. Only 4% of Icelanders profess a belief in the other people, the Huldúfolk, but privately, well, that’s another matter. You simply can’t help it. That’s quite the story of survival!