Tag Archives: troll

Eye and Body Thinking in Iceland

It is a wonderful thing that Ásmundar Sveinsson worked with in Reykjavik: to make thoughts for the eye to consider, in the parts of thought independent of the cognitive mind.

Sveinsson’s Troll Woman in Reykjavik

When viewing, remember that a troll is not a creature from fairy tale but any person deeply connected with a place. “Trolls”, in other words, are themselves the body thinking, in the parts of thought independent of the cognitive mind. Sveinsson was so independent that he remains, still, ahead of his time.

Preparation is All

Everything catches your eye. The world is not what we expect but what we answer when it calls to us. The two gestures are the same. Preparation is all, even if you don’t know the preparation you have done. When I first travelled to Iceland, we were given an itinerary and sent on our way, and, being curious and easily wowed, kept stopping the car and being late for dinner.

Now I understand that if we hadn’t wanted to be caught, and if we hadn’t been ready to be caught, we would have driven on, and made dinner. Because we stopped, I saw into the heart of the world, and have written two books and am deep into two other manuscripts. And still that lamb dinner calls!

The Troll Woman Welcomes the Sun

A troll, like an elf, is not a species of creature, but a description of a relationship to power. There’s lots of it now, as the year rises from a tiny hole in the darkness and begins, slowly, to catch the sun again.

Ásmundar Sveinsson’s Tröllkonan in Reykjavik

I hope the year to come brings you to Iceland. I hope you find something there you never expected but recognize as something you have been seeking for years.

A Winter Troll Coming Down from the Mountains

Here’s one of the Trolls of Harnarfjall, on its annual pilgrimage to feed on the sea.

Slathering at the mouth in a field of old bones, as trolls will. There’s a whole herd of then where the foot of this fell turns into the flat of the sea. You can find them on cold days this time of year. In the summer they’ve gone to ground in the hills.

The Earth Gives Birth

Iceland is a “settlement” culture, not a “colonial” culture. This orientation continues today. There are times the Earth reminds the human body of its own birth.

Skriðuklaustur

At those moments, the human mind and body unite to give birth to a new self at one with the earth. That is settlement. It’s like taming a horse.