Tag Archives: nature photography

What’s in a Word: Veit

A veit is a vein. It is a space of the blood pounding in your ears, the loneliness you feel when you are alone, and the connectivity bound to that. If you are alone in the earth and connected to it, you are the earth. You are huge, and walk through yourself. Welcome to Myvatnsveit.This is the most beautiful Iceland of all, a place between other places, a place that is, in other words, not a place but a spreading expanse of time, which does not exist, between places, where humans can settle. You can’t settle in a vein. You can only walk, or drive, or die. A vein is the same space within your body: a place between, where travel takes place. We need veits (wide-ness, vistas, and their winds. Only here …… can you find yourself.

Or get lost. Although it follows the land, the road is not the map.

 

Erosion in Iceland

Well, the whole island is eroded down to bare stone, but that’s not what I mean. I don’t mean a negative force but a positive one. Look how the water flowing from one of the thousands of nameless falls of the country erodes a path that leads humans to it.And look how the erosion of lichen makes a path, which humans will follow, although it is no more even than any other line through the rock. And look how water carves a quite different path. By the looks of it, it was probably a farm or fishing hut path, which humans or their animals made and water has followed. And look how the erosion of a new post-glacial slope has concentrated its finer deposits, creating an environment for life. Amazing!

Going Around in Circles in Iceland

Volcanic crystals plus water equals islands everywhere.
Well, OK, wind and sand, too. In that case, they make water and the stones in water. These are deep patterns.Even volcanic gasses and earth. In that cases, there are islands of air.Life follows the same patterns.So do dwarf stones.And humans? Well, look.

Even when you don’t expect it, there it is. You can never hide in Iceland.

Of Humans and Power

Most humans, unfamiliar with the Earth, try to get as close to her power as possible.

Dettifoss

They will find each other, but will be powerless. Iceland is currently financing itself on this illusion, based on a thousand-year-old tradition of hospitality. The land’s hospitality reveals itself when you turn away and walk for, oh, ten minutes into the earth.

Fossunderlendiheiði

There are also ancient traditions of Icelanders reading this mixed landscape of water, volcanoes and wind. Keeping the tradition alive has never been so important or, under the business, so difficult.

Iceland Meets the Wind Off the Sun

I swear, Iceland is alive.

The late season light changes so quickly that the flow of gravity and time across space, and your body, are one. Only the photograph is still. Try opening the image in a new window. I think some of that directional energy and movement is captured in it, especially when seen a bit larger than here.

 

Either that, or confronting elemental nature makes a human alive.

Two Speed Iceland

The water swirls, and the wind swirls in the water, and under the effects of a kind of spiritual gravity, they congeal.If humans could move at their speed, they would still be swirling, but we are so fast that they appear still. We are light flickering on the surface of these flows.

And that’s beautiful, too.  That’s Iceland: a country that lives at two speeds, at once.