As Gunnar (who was from the East) did.
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.
And if you can’t, well, there’s April, when the ice plays its recording, just once, in birdsong.
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
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.
In Canada, the trail running across the foot of this face would have been made by deer, but in Iceland it’s made by sheep.
In Canada, this would be called wild land. In Iceland, it’s a farm. It is an intimate social and political space that turns wildness into civil life. In Canada, that is done as either an industrial or an aesthetic experience, capitalized and individual. Here it is just common space. In other words, this stretch of the Bessastaðaá is a city.
It is why a river in Iceland is an á: not a substance but a flow (aqua), not water but the energy that materializes as water and, as you can see, as stone. And jumbles them all up together. And breaks them apart. When you stand there and see beauty, it is that energy that you sense. The freezing energy, that is the business of frost. Keep your distance from that stuff! It’s lethal.
There’s the pretty one.
With ruins in the foreground.
Neither is Iceland, though. That’s something the Icelanders keep to themselves. What they present to you in its place are charms and gestures.
You know, stuff you remember from the world.