Tag Archives: South Iceland

A Social Lesson in Climate Change from Iceland

Time is a tricky thing, even in Iceland. On the South Coast, for instance, where lava has taken many farms away since settlement over 1000 years ago, and where people with no better means to independence eked out a subsistence living between the moss and basalt, power poles walk across the landscape towards Reykjavik. It’s there, in “modernity”, that most Icelanders now live, yet the power that sustains them and guarantees them the wealth to maintain their independence in a global world, walks across their past to get there and turns it into nature.In other words, to look at this landscape is to look at time, over a thousand years of social time included, through the lens of a great emptying. This sense of time is the price Icelanders must, perhaps, pay to belong to the world, but the cost is emptiness. It empties out the land, and empties out the past and empties out the soul. In short, one becomes dependent on the present and can no longer live in the fullness of time.  This is not just an Icelandic issue. Today, as the Earth empties of life, we are all paying the price for this defense against each other. What a tricky balance!

A Different Perspective on the Reynisdrangar Trolls

They are famous, these ship-stealing trolls of South Iceland. You can see them off the point in the distance below, looking east…

…and  looking  west  below.

But it’s the few from the north, from their lair, that shows how close they came to dragging those fishing boats in for dinner, and how alive they still are.

Never think a troll is dead. That would be a big mistake for your subconscious life, indeed.

Volcanic Ash Blowing in the Seljaland Wind

Worried about ash blowing around in the wind? It’s beautiful and mysterious isn’t, and makes your photographs, well, blur.

Seljaland

But if you go closer anyway, look who you will find dancing in the wind.

Bog Cotton!

So, blurriness, you see, is something to walk out into in the wind. When I did, it made me think I was a child of the wind myself. Oh, wait. I am.

Svartifoss: River of Blood

Perhaps it’s called Svartifoss (Black Falls) because it shows itself on a black basalt cliff.

Bad Light Helps One See Clearly Here

Perhaps it’s because the red autumn birches turn black with distance, and still the fall flashes.

Autumn Rain Really Brings Out the Light of This Land

In either case, it’s not the cliff that is named but the water.

It seems that when blackness falls it is visible. Of course, that means it’s not black at all…

… or that whiteness is also a blindness, beyond human life. We marvel. Life, it comes from nowhere, flashes with life, and then returns to mystery.

Svartifoss in Its Pool of Birch Blood

~

Svartifoss, Skaftafell National Park, South Iceland

 

Welcome to a World of Light

It is easy…

 

… to be distracted …

…by ice …

… and its romantic stories of loss and the fleeting nature of experience…

… and to miss the light …

… and the darkness …

… together …

… in the eye.

Glaciers come from another world.

It is a world of light.

~

Jokulsárlón and Skaftafell