Category Archives: Huldúfolk

Sinkholing: A Photographic Adventure in Iceland

Sure, you can go spelunking in a cave and see a few columns of stone, but nothing beats a bit of sinkholing in April.

There are mysterious worlds just under the ice.

They only last few a few weeks.

Like viewing fall leaves or spring plum blossoms, really.

Just as beautiful, too.

Aw shucks, it’s May. You’re too late!

But the magic will come again next year!

Not All Trolls Need Take on Animal Shape

Being stone is enough when you are stone.


Litlafoss

Gunnar Gunnarsson called basalt like this the chain-linked rhymes of traditional Icelandic verse. He meant, I think, nothing is unlinked. This raven, for instance, flying above that stone…

 

…nests in it. Poetry is natural architecture, in Gunnar’s world.

Looking for Trolls in Iceland

Well, forget the tourist pamphlets, that collect old folktales from the 19th century. Those were created in an attempt to sort out folk stories from the many traditions of Icelandic settlers. Truth is, there are no trolls, not as a non-human, humanoid species.

Skriðuklaustur

There is, however, a human ability to centre landscapes in human form. It is this centring, this inseparability from place, that you will find in Iceland, if you wander there outside of books. The secret of trolls is the secret of recognition, because they are the same thing. Many Icelanders today look to New York or London for their mirrors. Not all. You don’t have to, either. A troll is where you find it. You are where you find yourself. Now, recognizing yourself when you see it, ah, now that’s a trick.