Since the raven and her mate circled around all the time, keeping an eye on things, one day at Skriðuklaustur, when the geese arrived to wait for spring, I sat down on a hill and waited to catch the raven, framed by the geese! What fun! Gunnar’s house is a happening place, out there in East Iceland, I tell ya!
Alas, I failed. While I was waiting, the geese kind of waddled around honking a bit and closed my frame, and the raven was, well, quick! So, not centred. Well, ravens and humans are like that, eh. I’m thinking that the geese are not amused by either of us
I hope these two images from show how before there were roads, making a human map of the landscape…
Near Hellisnes by Fjaðrárgljúfur
…there were lavas and rivers …
… making a map at once spiritual and far beyond the human. Traversing them, each journey is its own map, or, to put it another way, every journey is a story, passed on as story. An ideal writing conference in Iceland would go to the heart of this kind of storytelling. All else follows, or leads away.
This ewe and her lamb appear to have a mixed breed thing going on.
This is deliberate. The best mother is given a lamb or two to care for, even if she has lost hers, and even if she doesn’t have one at all. Good mothering has sure paid off for this lamb. Looking well cared for and plump!
As you can see from this view east from Ásbyrgi, the sun in Iceland manages to concentrate itself into little splashes of light here and there, on most days, anyway. That leaves much of it in stunning darkness.
The best thing to do is just to enjoy the darkness. When else are you going to really see it?
On top of the cliffs at the great dry waterfall of Ásbyrgi, high above the ocean, the tide leaves its pools. The water comes with the rain, and the pools aren’t filled with crabs and anemones, but bog cotton will do.
It’s always a thrill to come across life thriving in hostile places, including here, trod upon by so many human travellers trying to get to the cliff edge without slipping over in the muck. Perhaps the bog cotton is thinking the same thing!
Think of Icelanders eking a living out of nearly bare soil in an inhospitable climate, and then think how much the world has profited by selling them useless things like fences. Think of how much land was eroded just to pay for this nonsense.
And then all those profits blown up in wars. Imagine what could have been.