The foundational principle of Iceland is “settlement.” after 1100 years of it, we see that nothing has changed. In Olafsfjörður (for example), everything still comes from away.
And buildings are larger than they need to be. They too are settlements.
Even the driftwood, even the art, even the temporary housing made from shipping containers, comes from away.
Or so it seems to someone from away. However, to an Icelander, I think it comes from the world, which is synonymous with the sea.
And you can’t see it.
The result is Reykjavik.
Where there are waves, there is a shore.
They are all different shores.
Some are within you.
You are within some.
Some are bits of drag from the sky moving off the sea and over the island.
Others are the sky taking the island to sea.
These are the shores of life. Gunnar used them as a symbol of Christianity and the hard choices of ethics.
He refused to accept that they were in our control, as strongly as he knew we must cross them.
But that’s why you go to Iceland, right?
To learn your place?
All roads do not lead to Rome.δ
Meeting Life Itself, Skagafjörður
All the rest? The trees, the horses, the humans, the cod, the arctic terns, the chickens? They are all carrying a replica of life within them, but the sea is life itself. Instead of saying “life”, we could just say “sea”. And the land? Ah, now, now that is a story of humans and other people. I’ll tell it tomorrow. Here’s a hint to haunt your dreams while the night falls and the sun rises again …
Elf Stone, Goðafoss