If you don’t walk it, it will disappear. That would be like letting the ancient romanesque cathedrals of Europe fall into ruins and be carted away as bricks. That’s what you’re looking at, so get on out there!
In November, when sunrise and sunset colours continue in unbroken unfolding light from dawn, near 10 a.m., and dusk near 2 or 3 p.m., it comes so quickly that you can see it open and close through the spectrum, as if you are inside a film, a really, really wide-angle 4-D film.
Here is a fraction of a second of its wonder over the volcano in early November, as I walked through flaming heather and pink snow at þingvellir. I shot the image with two much sky to illustrate how unsettling it can be. One feels at times that one can fall right off the Earth and drown in air.
Whether you find power in a single wave breaking out of the sea of the sun…
… or, turning around, in lines of thought, humble beneath the ancient forces of ice and gravity …
… or in a glacier setting to sea from the Jökulsárlón in the last hour of light …
… may you find the mountain where you are home.
Thor’s Shield, from Skogarkot in Thingvallasveit
And may you burn like a birch tree in the cold.
Myth is not a literal device. Thor’s Shield is a volcano in Iceland, in Middle Earth. It is rimmed with cinder cones. What follows is wit: poets competing with kings, using words alone. It’s smith-work, just as sword-forging is: what is svart is black, what smarts, hits. There are sparks. The words are all one word. The shield is a shield. That’s the wit of it.