Out on the hraun, you are living in the open universe. The Earth’s shadow was amazing, that we left, not towards the golden light shining from across Breidafjördur, but into the shadow, deeper and deeper. It was like swimming in the sky.
If you’re hunting for ogres and trolls, pick your rock carefully, seek around waterfalls, and come in winter, when the world approaches their state. They’re shy. They won’t come all at once. Bring warm gloves and boots. Those are the first parts of your body to leave you for their world.
A rich narrative of non human life forms at Sheep’s Falls. December 24, 2019.
In all her finery!
Hellissandur, Christmas Day, 2019
In Indigenous traditions on the North Eastern Pacific shore, Raven steals the light. In Ísland, he collects eyes. The more, obviously, the better.
In the North East of Iceland, there is a cape with Eidars and puffins, called Raudanes, or Red Cape. “Nes” is an old term for a nes, or nose, of land, in the same way that mountains have shoulders, backs and arms, continents have icecaps, mountains have jökulls, as the Icelanders say, little jackets of ice, little land-based icebergs, or glaciers, and seacoasts, like mountains, have caps, or heads. On the coast, these caps are capes, in English, and they often have noses.
This is the nose of Red Nose itself. One notes that it is a dragon. Now, how fine is that!
Up here in North Iceland, with the cities far away, one makes one’s own fun. When you tire of the Spot the Gull game, you can start in on the spot the troll nest game, which is just as much fun.
After all, Gunnar Gunnarsson moved to Denmark and became a writer, not precisely in that order, because he was given a walnut for Christmas, and raced its shell down the parsonage stream, imagining it was a big sailing ship. So, if little Gunnar could do it, we can look more closely, too.
I wouldn’t play this game in Reykjavik, though. They might think it kind of country bumpkinish. As they thought Gunnar was.
North Iceland is so underpopulated, that in Kopasker one farmer has built a house for trolls.
Better the troll you know and feed than the wild one that comes in from the crowded South and feeds on you.
You won’t find them in the glitzy shops on Laugavegur (Laundry Road) in Reykjavik, but if you go out to the Fossá (The River of the Falls), right where it empties into the Sélvallavatn (Lake in the Valley of the Seals) in the Berserkjahraun (The Berserker Lava Field), you might.
See them? No? That’s because you have to stomp down through the drifts in the wind and get down on your hands and knees beside the river, just before it touches the frozen lakeshore. See them? Under the goofy elf sheep of snow?
No? Then closer, it is. (Aren’t pearls worth it?)
Just like shark teeth.
It’s a mysterious little river in North East Iceland, appearing and disappearing, like it’s playing tag.
And then it’s gone.
Wait, there’s an encore:
Look at that: tiny river, huge falls. Now, that’s a great trick!
Here’s the deal. For over 1,000 years, that’s 40 generations or so, maybe more, or about 2.5% of the human experience on Earth,when you wanted a drink of water for 8 months of the year, this is where you got it: from within ice.
Out the Back Door of a Lost Croft on Stekkur
And ice was a power of negation from outside of the world. You had, in other words, to reach into the enemy, right outside of the human world, to survive. And you sent your kids out to get this water. From there. And they did it. And this was called independence; for almost all Icelanders, if you wanted children you had to accept a bargain of absolute poverty like this. There is no moral to this story. Still, when we look at Inspired by Iceland’s images of the country:
Well, just remember you’re looking at 40 generations of Icelandic children approaching the Frost Giants and stealing life. The theft goes on.