Tag Archives: Icelandic Church

Christian Loneliness and Hope in the Icelandic West

After the end of the Christian age, the dead are a bit alone at Hellnar.

Truth is, the graveyard has become a pasture, blowing in the wind under the volcano.

And the hope and loss and grief of all the families that have lost men at sea, is a bit at sea, too.

Let us still honour them, and carry them.

Beautiful Raufarhöfn

This graveyard in a part of Iceland rarely visited fills me with joy. The church, like so many, is an imported thing, steeped in nationalism, colonialism and paternity, but the graveyard, ah, that is 1100 years living all at once.

And in a way that has no words, at least not yet. To date, it exceeds the capacity of the literary writers of Reykjavik, far to the southwest, but I like to think that some kid, alone here just below the Arctic Circle, is living the moments right now that in a decade or two will give it voice. What a day to look forward to!

 

When you live on the beach, well, that’s nice.

But if you have a church on the beach, you build a wall. That’s nice, too.

A bit dark, though.  So it is. But not half so dark as the church!

Kind of a repetition of the motif of the cliff, really, but, heck, in this place, even the sea is a cliff wall.

Skriðnafell

The land has its way with us.