Bring an air mattress.
One of the great pleasures of Iceland is to walk up a remote canyon, followed by ravens hoping you will slip and break a leg, and to know that they are your thoughts.
It’s a northern thing. Of course, a country where a bell rope can serve as an improvised noose is a fine place to wander, too.
Darkness is everywhere, but it’s not black. It’s red or something, like blood.
The eye touches the earth as a bodily organ, as much as it does as the hand of the mind.
The mind is as much a heart as it is a muscle. It swims in blood.
Humans can’t see darkness, I read all the time. In Iceland, this illusion just doesn’t wash.
Maybe you can’t see it, but you can touch it, and enter through it the world behind the world.
And what is there?
Why, you are.
There, under the effect of the outside world, this sense of presence is called art.
The old paths still wait.
This is Iceland. It’s not so friendly to human life, really, but it is sold to tourists, who want “real experience.”
That’s the art of Iceland: remaining hospitable. It is a kind of mercy. Art and beauty are reduced to a line of thought here, in a language of “eye” and “body” but not so much of mind, and that line is reduced to gentle gestures, lest the bodies of visitors scare.The language of mind (below) might just scare them off.
Not that there are polar bears in Iceland, but what the heck. The practice speaks to a tremendous self confidence, and the secrecy of all islanders: everyone is the island.
All who come remain within the gesture of arrival, until they choose to either leave or stay. Everyone gets to decide for themselves. No one will help you… unless you get lost. Then you will be brought back and warmed up, and will be once again within the gesture of the island itself. It’s the same if you try to leave. You might find yourself leaving and staying all at the same time.
The island is the one doing the speaking here. Humans are almost speechless in its face.