This image is from the heath above Dettifoss.
Other intersections of solar radiation and the Earth are equally beautiful. In late November, these colours change so rapidly that the change is physically observable. You are part of the turning of the Earth, and you can see it, way out there, where you are, in Space.
Iceland is a good place to get to know your place in the solar system.
Gunnar said there were ships in the sky, meaning clouds, but if you go to Iceland in the winter, you will find whole mountain ranges in the sky, that appear and disappear, created by the mountains out of the wind off the Atlantic.
They’re not exactly shadows and not exactly mirrors. They are amazingly alive. I suspect that the medium (the wind) does that. The image above is near Arnarstapi, on Snæfellsnes. The glacier is just around the corner: one of these clouds that stayed.
At a certain point, you see with your chest, not with your eyes. Here with the tide rushing out at Kolgrafarfjörður at sundown around 2:30 pm on the shortest day, the light might be in the air, but it’s really in the water, which you “see” with its substance.
In other words, light is a substance as well, which this photograph, which can only capture the energy within it, can only hint at. You have to be there, because only a body can experience this. However, renting a car at Harpa at 10 a.m. and rushing out to Snæfellsnes, and back to Reykjavik in time for a quick snack and the 8 pm. Northern Lights Bus Tour will only keep you in the light’s energy. You won’t become the sea. There’s not just one Iceland in the same place at the same time. And it’s not just the sea. It’s the Earth as well, here from Ríf four days later, looking up to the glacier.
I think this is what Gunnar Gunnarsson meant in his 1936 essay “Thoughts on Nordic Fate” (Nordische Schicksalsgedanke), when he spoke of salvation — not in the modern sense of rescue through Christ but in an older sense, of the healing of separation. His answer was to go home to Iceland, but I’m not sure it has accepted him yet.
Yup, there’s the grand view of a secret beach, where no one goes.
There’s also the stick, that no one stops for.
Well, almost no-one. This is the delight that can find pure joy in a farmstead so far away across the wetlands that walking won’t bring you there.
That, too, is Iceland, as is this water that flowed over Hengifoss just a half hour or so before. Is it any less now?
You can either run after it or stand still and let I go. That, too, is Iceland.
The beach at Hellissandur showed her spirit this morning.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of light, or, better, the light goes inward rather than out. So is it with the long, low angles of the sun on Christmas Day. Look at the water erupt from the sand and say its name in this light.
And now, this force is just as strong. What welcome energy!
What life! This time, it’s not just the Earth that is alive. Look at the sun going down over Melariff at 2:30 in the afternoon!
And so we carry ourselves, just as the Earth, the Water and the Sky carry us. It is we who are spirits of Earth, Water and Sky.