Tag Archives: altar

In Iceland, No Tree is Just a Tree

The altar at Hólar is an example of what a tree can be made into, in a form of technology imported to Iceland.

The rowan tree in the graveyard outside is an example of how pre-Christian symbols can use a tree for the same ends of contemplation and memory. The cross is a third example.

Iceland’s history walks between these poles, but always the green tree is honoured most deeply, and at the least expense. It’s good to have one’s symbols take root and look after themselves, because there’s work to do.

 

Rebirth in the Trees

Every Western church has a window much like this …

P1270834

Christ Risen

This is a window painted with the art of the mind. Reykholt Church Altar, Iceland

Not many churches, though, have this for a view while you’re sitting in a pew …

P1270831
Church Window, Reykholt, Iceland

The other cross.

Imagine if a people had cut down all their trees to stay warm in the cold, until the poets came along and started planting trees again, until memory was a live and growing year by year, and you could walk through it. Imagine a people who found their liberty in this way, rather than by war or revolution: by planting trees. Well, it’s the kind of country that might build a road like this…

P1270659

If You’re Going to Go Through All the Trouble of Building a Road …

… you might has well have it lead somewhere.

Putting towns at the ends of roads is so expensive. There are other places people need to go. Even Gunnar Gunnarsson found his way home.