Category Archives: Art

Christian Loneliness and Hope in the Icelandic West

After the end of the Christian age, the dead are a bit alone at Hellnar.

Truth is, the graveyard has become a pasture, blowing in the wind under the volcano.

And the hope and loss and grief of all the families that have lost men at sea, is a bit at sea, too.

Let us still honour them, and carry them.

The Heartbreaking and Strangely Uplifting Graveyard in Helena

First, with their church.

Next, with their hay bales. Looks to me like they have been bundled up for harvest themselves.

Next, from their sanctuary.

So must 1100 years of Christian dead comfort themselves when their parishes, and faith, is lost among the living.

When the Cows Come Home

And the boats.

In Iceland, barn architecture, being as sturdy as a mountain…

…can serve all purposes. It’s the details that count. In this boat yard, for instance, it’s harbour between the devil (the road) and the deep blue sea (the shipping container.)

Arnarstapi

What jokesters those Icelanders are, when it comes to hard truths.

Lessons from a Poet’s House

Kristján Einarsson lived here in Djupalæk.

It’s a bit more exposed than a North American or Continental poet’s house. Here’s the kind of poem you write in a place like this:

Strings

Stones are strings.
The water makes them roar.
Its a delight to know
What lives in the mind of water…

Kristján

Mind you, water is tight these days:

Lots in the Atlantic, but for fresh water for the sheep, it has to be brought in in plastic tanks. Even though it falls, almost daily, from the sky. Isn’t this the real poverty and isolation?