Tag Archives: farming

The Christian Magic that Invented Iceland

An Old Story Telling its Knot on the Road West of Sælingsdal

Over eleven hundred years, men can cut down all the trees, keep their horses for memory, erode the soil with sheep, battle frost heaves, put in a jeep track, buy a German tractor and some good American haying equipment, and strew nitrogen fertilizer around to stay alive, but the Cross that a woman ordered hammered into a stone to hold back the elves who lived inside it remains, and you will likely think of it as a children’s story. Still, your tractor can’t do a thing with it, nor your sheep, nor your beautiful horses.

Meeting the Earth Head On

As the frailty of the fence below shows, the Icelandic way of meeting the Earth is either foolish or heroic, or both.

Grótfjall from the Dunes

The Earth is huge, and humans are small, and yet they stand up against each other, body to body. It is hardly an equal relationship… or is it? The fence stands in witness.

The Importance of the Colour White in Iceland

Look, the place is nature, right? And that’s a painting genre and its cultural extensions, so you need white, to balance things.

Fossvellir

White sheep to the left, white sheep to the right, and white hay up close. They all balance the white of the falls. It maintains visual interest and balance. What is a painting without that, eh!