In Indigenous traditions on the North Eastern Pacific shore, Raven steals the light. In Ísland, he collects eyes. The more, obviously, the better.
Being stone is enough when you are stone.
Gunnar Gunnarsson called basalt like this the chain-linked rhymes of traditional Icelandic verse. He meant, I think, nothing is unlinked. This raven, for instance, flying above that stone…
…nests in it. Poetry is natural architecture, in Gunnar’s world.
One of the great pleasures of Iceland is to walk up a remote canyon, followed by ravens hoping you will slip and break a leg, and to know that they are your thoughts.
It’s a northern thing. Of course, a country where a bell rope can serve as an improvised noose is a fine place to wander, too.
Darkness is everywhere, but it’s not black. It’s red or something, like blood.
The eye touches the earth as a bodily organ, as much as it does as the hand of the mind.
The mind is as much a heart as it is a muscle. It swims in blood.
Humans can’t see darkness, I read all the time. In Iceland, this illusion just doesn’t wash.
Maybe you can’t see it, but you can touch it, and enter through it the world behind the world.
And what is there?
Why, you are.
There, under the effect of the outside world, this sense of presence is called art.
The old paths still wait.
Don’t worry. They’ll repeat what they think you said so you can get it right. You’re up to this. Don’t worry. They’ll always have the first word…and the last. But you’re good with humility, right? Sure you are!