Category Archives: Huldúfolk

What Are We Looking At?

Yesterday, I surmised that the Nordic eye that is neither thought nor memory, and thus not consciousness, is the body, looking out, and asked what it was that we are looking at with that eye. I suggested vision, a presence of being rendered physical.

If that is what we are looking at, it is quite foreign to the contemporary world. Today, human eyes look out to see the social, at all times.

But in a one-eyed landscape, is it really social, or is that just a contemporary, North American word placed on a far different manner of presence?

At any rate, it’s quite different from a human/non-human relationship of being, such as Iceland-outside-of-Reykjavik:

But, here’s the question: is that relationship social, too? But not “social” in terms of human-to-human interactions? 

And so, we come, as we seem to always do, to another question: if there is a non-human social relationship, what is it with, or, perhaps better put, what is a human social relationship when it includes non-peoples?

And what does that say about interhuman social relationships? Something to dream about overnight!

Thought, Memory and All the Wisdom in the World

Oðin, the wanderer, threw his eye into the pool at the root of the world tree, to gain wisdom.

The Icelandic Green Party Reassembles the World Tree in the Election of 2013

The nature of the wisdom a supplicant received was determined by the quality of the gift. For an eye, he got two ravens, Thought and Memory, and what else is consciousness? That’s it, for sure. Here are a few pictures of Thought and Memory in Iceland, to show you how it works.Church, Battery, and Water for Horses.

Sheep and World War II US Army Surplus

Abandoned Cruise Ship and Fish Bins, Lagarfljót

Thought and a Door… Or is That Memory and a Mouth?

Window Remembering the Sky and Thinking of the Wind

Forest, Remembering, in Front of a House Thinking of a Waterfall

The Cow at the Hamburger Factory, Remembering Its Days as a Reality TV Show

Pretty cool, for sure, but here’s the haunting thing: what is the other eye doing? The one that is not consciousness? This?

This? Not at all. If it’s a human image, it’s conscious. The other must have been the eye of vision. The one that doesn’t stop and notice, but flows on.

There is, at any rate, something that’s not conscious, that is aware. So often, thought speaks of the Huldufolk, the elves and trolls that “live within the rock.” Are they the other eye? Are they us?

What are we looking at?

Why No One is Arguing for a National Park in Fjaðrárgljúfur

This globally precious land in a country that claims to be an environmental leader is about to be sold for tourist developement. Perhaps this image shows why it is not being made into a national park instead, which would be the responsible, wise course to meet tourism and environmental goals together.
Note the catastrophic lava field that obliterated the original farms in modern memory, the excavator digging gravel out of the river, a forbidden practice in many countries but likely under government subsidy here, to enable farmers to stay on the land, and the farm up on the poorly-productive high country, away from that lava gick. This is a story of survival by harnessing energy to an austere, hierarchal system of political order. The fear is palpable, but the land…

… is palpable, too. Environmental laws mean nothing if this land is not protected from crass development. The soul of the nation is here. Development is inevitable, and in true Icelandic fashion, it will be industrial and in place, and it should be. Restraint, though, is also Icelandic, and it is sorely needed here.

This land, rich in spirit, is as fragile as Iceland. The response to the offer of sale of this land should be as robust as iceland, which means putting some teeth into environmental legislation. The alternative is to become a laughing stock. It’s not desirable, and it’s not necessary.

Viking Hydro Power Station

In the 9th century, long, long before Nicola Tesla, the vikings of Iceland changed the course of the Öxá, to create a waterfall in þingvellir. The sagas tell that it was named after a troll that used to chop up early parliamentarians with an axe — surely a witty reference to early spiritual struggles in Iceland, which was grounded simultaneously by at least three spiritual traditions: Norse, Irish and Christian. Wikipedia tells how the waterfall was used to provision campers with water.I will merely point out a couple things. First, the Icelandic killing fields were in this river, either by the drowning of witches, ie reunion with the troll, or by beheading on a rock in the water, ie the cancellation of Christian belonging, as a form of organic justice. This was hydro power before the industrial age. We now call it “nature” and “beauty.” Those are only industrial terms. Beware.

The Grass Suns of Iceland

These solar systems are navigated by star sheep and humans brave enough to risk turning an ankle. The suns themselves are self-woven by grass, maintaining heat by spherical, or hemi-spherical shape. Sub-arctic climates don’t exist at the level of the grass. Just in the vast interstellar distance between clumps. But that’s what star sheep are for.