Tag Archives: Snaefellsnes

The Heartbreaking and Strangely Uplifting Graveyard in Helena

First, with their church.

Next, with their hay bales. Looks to me like they have been bundled up for harvest themselves.

Next, from their sanctuary.

So must 1100 years of Christian dead comfort themselves when their parishes, and faith, is lost among the living.

Are Old Roads Better than New Ones or New Ones Better, Hmmm?

Here’s the old road to Gerduberg in winter. Bit of a trudge.

And here’s the new one leaving it and passing up into the hills. Bit of a muck fest.

Right, here’s an old track the way to Snaefellsjökull. Bit of a dodge, isn’t it.

And the new one?

It’s so nice, they’ve given it a go at blocking it off! The funny thing here is that the old tracks are human made and the new ones are made by machine. One gives access to humans, at a human pace, with arrival at a form of human identity, and the other gives access to humans riding in machines, at a machine pace, with arrival at a form of machine identity. Some things must, simply enough, be slow. Sometimes you just have to sit down for a half year, or a thousand years, and get the lay of the land on a human scale until you become it. In summer…

… when there’s nowhere to park, and in winter …

… you’ll find yourself on foot.

Gerduberg Parking Lot in Winter

By car, you’re already thinking of moving on.

Out of the Corner of My Eye

So many photographs are posed in stillness, framed by contemplation, and drenched with light, yet light is not always about vision or seeing clearly, especially in an Icelandic winter, when it becomes a kind of water you swim through, an aether, the ancients would have called it. They meant the liquid eye that sees before the mind does and only lets the mind see a little of what touches it like a finger to a leaf.

This image of Eldborg on Snaefellsnes was made at 80 km/h on a late December dusk, out of the corner of my eye. There was no time to frame it, and before I registered it was there it was gone. What remains is the look it gave me, this drawing of my eye to it, that I had nothing to do with except trust. This watching haunts me.

Snaefellsjökull, The Watcher

The volcano was an island-volcano off the coast, before a completely separate volcanic event raised a ridge of volcanoes out to meet it and then past it into the Atlantic. It watched them come.

It watched humans come, too. Some go there now to watch it. Others go to be watched by it. It measures the distance between those two points of view.