Tag Archives: symbolism

In Iceland, No Tree is Just a Tree

The altar at Hólar is an example of what a tree can be made into, in a form of technology imported to Iceland.

The rowan tree in the graveyard outside is an example of how pre-Christian symbols can use a tree for the same ends of contemplation and memory. The cross is a third example.

Iceland’s history walks between these poles, but always the green tree is honoured most deeply, and at the least expense. It’s good to have one’s symbols take root and look after themselves, because there’s work to do.

 

At Dawn, Iceland is Four Worlds at Once

At first, dawn is pure light.

þingvellavatn

Then it reveals another world.

Then it turns blue. The other world is still there, but white now.

Then there are colours, and mountains, as the two worlds join.

When you count the houses built at þingvellir each time Iceland enacts a new constitution, that’s three worlds. Well, four if you count the ice.