Tag Archives: Beauty

Winter Birdsong in East Iceland

 

Well, it’s freezing in Hallormstaðir, and the Lagarfljót isn’t, shall we say, a great place for swimming today, but while the weather stations are warning of heavy snow and ice ahead, let’s remember the ice of April, as it breaks on the shore with the music of a flock of 100,000 tiny birds. The ice is the birds, as it shatters and lifts, and refreezes and tilts and falls, and washes in on the waves, all written with the record of a year.

What wondrous runes telling of every moment the winter through.

It’s beginning now. If you go down to the lake, you might catch the first words, but do stay safe on those slick roads.

And if you can’t, well, there’s April, when the ice plays its recording, just once, in birdsong.

 

Welcome to a World of Light

It is easy…

 

… to be distracted …

…by ice …

… and its romantic stories of loss and the fleeting nature of experience…

… and to miss the light …

… and the darkness …

… together …

… in the eye.

Glaciers come from another world.

It is a world of light.

~

Jokulsárlón and Skaftafell

Farming the Hard Way

All farming is hard.

Abandoned Farm, Borgarfjörður Eystri

Everywhere. Here’s a farm in Wales.

Hayfield, Y Fron, Wales

And a farm in Canada.

New Orchard, Vernon, Canada

And a farm in Iceland. This one is still working!

Sturluflöt, Iceland

I think the last is the most beautiful. Team? What do you think?

Hmmm. It’s hard to say if they agree or not. Closer?

Ah. The silent type.

The Strength of the Icelandic North

There is a richness in the North that the lush green of the South can’t touch.

Somewhere North of Dettifoss

(Even the Icelandic map doesn’t name this place.)

It’s stark, and “stark”, we know, is “strong.” You feel your strength here. And clambering over all this broken stone let’s you feel your tendons too!

Beautiful Raufarhöfn

This graveyard in a part of Iceland rarely visited fills me with joy. The church, like so many, is an imported thing, steeped in nationalism, colonialism and paternity, but the graveyard, ah, that is 1100 years living all at once.

And in a way that has no words, at least not yet. To date, it exceeds the capacity of the literary writers of Reykjavik, far to the southwest, but I like to think that some kid, alone here just below the Arctic Circle, is living the moments right now that in a decade or two will give it voice. What a day to look forward to!

 

Everyone Can be a Faded Polaroid at the Harpa and Dance with Yoko Ono Now

There is beautiful light in Iceland…

.

… and I mean really beautiful light …

… but tourism survives on images, so the great opera hall, the Harpa, allows anyone to view others as if they are in a faded Polaroid shot from the 1970s …

… or an Agfa shot from the 1960s.

This retro thing, this notion of quoting the landscape in the very moment one observes it, is something the Icelanders learned in graduate school in New York, London and Berlin. It’s charming, but remember …

… every wave that goes to sea in Skagafjörður leaves behind a space for beautiful light. It’s like the sun is right there, you know.

Hólar in the Spring

It is.