Tag Archives: Iceland

The Amazing Survival of Fishing Culture in Downtown Reyjkavik

Just think of her all day, staring out at that black gable, and dreaming of real life, with her fur hair and her golden elf scarf.

Tax free, too. With butterflies. Icelandic shopkeepers really know how to adapt fishing technology to the new international tourism schools!

The Hunt for the Best Art Gallery in Iceland

Is it goofing around with a culvert at Grandatorg?

Or lunch at the Kjarvalstaðir gallery?

Or goofing around with shop windows on Laugavegur?

Or just goofing around at Laugarnestangi as the sun comes up over Viðey?

Or a goofy farmer’s field on the way to Dettifoss?

Or a whole town goofing off at Kópasker?

Or an aluminum smelter buying allegiance with a pretty thing on Sæbraut?

Or doing more with less on Laugavegur because you need more with your less?

Or just goofing off with a little bit of security magic on Frakkastígur?

 

Or the painting amusing themselves at Kjarvalstaðir, because everyone has come to lunch with old friends, and the paintings are certainly old friends.


Or outdoing Mondrian in a sheep farm in the Fljótsdalur?

Or some weird kind of planting flowers to give children hope in front of some everybody-comes-to-Iceland-with-spray-cans-now-that-the-building-sites-have-been-abandoned-after-the-financial-meltdown, because what else?

Or politics? Is it an art gallery, too?

It’s the cigarette tin, right?

No, wait, it’s the riding stable signage in Akureyri!

No, wait! It’s spilled paint and a stick on a parking lot!

It never ends. Icelanders are a pretty serious looking bunch, even Björk, and they write about gruesome murders and stuff, and their novelists kill off all their heroes and heroines just because, but don’t believe it, because they’re always goofing off, with a straight face. Do you think the horses taught them about this, in those centuries of isolation?

Well, maybe not the straight face part.

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.

Iceland is Beautiful But the People Are (Almost) Gone


Seyðisfjörður without boats…

Churches without mowers with scythes…

Mountain villages with neither people nor sheep.

The fishers walked away.

The settlers made little mark.

The farmers went to Canada.

There are reasons for these things. They have to do with emptiness and inhuman power.

That too is a human strength, but not for the young.

Skaftafell

Mysteries.

 

Secret Falls

These are my secret Icelandic falls. I’m not telling you where to find them, because it does not matter. What matters is the finding. If I told you, you wouldn’t find them, and finding is such a pleasure.

And the leaving again. Even if I came back, I’d find something else.


No, what you need to find lies somewhere else, but I promise it’s there. This one, maybe?

Or this one?

Look at that hill. If you’d come in the right season, you’d find 50 of them, and leave each one to find it in your heart again. Off you go!