Category Archives: Land

Glacial Tongue @ the Global Warming Show

 

I thought I’d look up from the Glacial Lagoon …

… show of humans being beautiful for themselves and for each other by posing (warmly) within luxurious images of humanly-initiated global climate change…

… to see what the glacier thought of all this. Ah, well, look, I’m glad it did. The cheeky thing…

… was sticking its tongue out at us! Just a tiny bit. Between compressed lips.

The Storms of the North Atlantic? Not so fast!

Iceland sits in water, lots of water, and storm races across it, but that’s not the same as saying that the snows of an Icelandic winter are a curse from the sea. It’s the mountains that make them, and the latitude, at the top of the world.

They even channel and intensify the wind! Iceland is not, you see, exactly shelter.

Chance Sightings of the Sun

 

If you head East from Þingvellir and reach the height of land, and the turn off to Laugarvatn, why not stop and wait for the sun? This is elf country. They just might show. What you are looking for are rainbows almost invisible as the sun disperses the mist like a breath.

And if they don’t show, waiting is also arrival. It all depends upon which country you arrive in. Care to try? You’ve got nothing to lose!

Country of the Wind

In Langadalur, you can find a country where humans can only exist as the companions of elemental powers. To walk here is to be utterly naked in the universe. To do so with a community of people is no help. You must enter with a community of things, and live within them until you have crossed. What the Icelanders have learned in 1100 years is that when the boat doesn’t come, you had better be good at making a new community of things.

You must halter yourself to the Earth, lest you are blown away. You could say that Gunnar returned to Iceland in 1939 because he loved his land, which is true, that he was romantic, which is also true, that he was afraid, which was reasonable in 1939, and you could say that this fold east of Bifrost is an instance of creativity, which is also true, but those are just words. You pick up the Earth one stone at a time, and move them to create a body that shelters you. It is your companion. It is yourself. From their to haunting is not far.

The Mountain Twice

Snæfell, the great mountain of East Iceland (not to be confused with Snæfell, the great mountain of West Iceland), is rarely seen. She cloaks herself in weather.

Gunnar’s House is just above lake level (and just past the lake), pretty much in the centre of the image.

She is always present, however, not just in the cloud she gathers to herself out of the living air but also in the Lagarfljót, the lake that fills the valley below her. There you can walk along the shore of the water she collects out of the sky. Snæfell is one of the great transformers — much like a great white raven, really.