Another example of how everything comes alive at Midsummer. Note as well, the Old Norse tradition of lifting up the Earth’s skin, making an oath, and setting the skin down to seal it, as told so well in Gunnar’s Sworn Brothers.
From the German Book Club Edition of 1933. Note the Arch.
First, you sit on a troll’s head at Midsummer, when even the stones come alive. If that sounds fantastical, you should really go to Iceland at Midsummer. You’ll see. In this way of the thrush, you get to hang out with a troll. Nice.
The other way of the thrush is to be the living thought of the troll, not in words or ideas, but in thrush. Nice, too!
Remember, trolls aren’t animate beings from fairytale, but places where rocks are made into home and mind through attachment. It could be you. It could be the thrush. It could be the thrush leading you into the Earth, where you find yourself.
It used to be possible to walk up to these falls near Kirkjubærjarklaustur, but it has been closed off due to disrespect, especially illegal camping. You can still spot its trolls from a distance, though, if you have a good eye. Do pay your respects with a nod, at least, and for Troll’s sakes, respect those farms and their stock. The place should be a UNESCO site.
Imagine going up to this troll, through all these stone bones and heads, and collecting water for the farmhouse at its foot. It was here that I learned that trolls keep humans because humans keep sheep and trolls really like sheep. A humbling and always slightly uncertain relationship.
If you’re hunting for ogres and trolls, pick your rock carefully, seek around waterfalls, and come in winter, when the world approaches their state. They’re shy. They won’t come all at once. Bring warm gloves and boots. Those are the first parts of your body to leave you for their world.
A rich narrative of non human life forms at Sheep’s Falls. December 24, 2019.