A trained eye will see trolls In Iceland by looking past the rock. A world of appearances is a world of doors. The country is a folktale. That is not a metaphor.
Some trolls, such as the one at Kirkjubærjarklaustur below, are less retiring, but look more closely. More trolls appear the longer you look.
Here too, to the east, along the South Coast.
And farther to the east. Here you can clearly see the bones from a previous troll meal, that have been tossed below them. Folklore holds that when the sun comes up, trolls are turned into stone. No, that’s not it. They are still there, behind the appearances, which is to say, in the darkness, behind the light.
And yes, trolls keep troll sheep, such as the one below at Dimmuborgir.
The one below at Skriðuklaustur may not appear to do so at first …
… but do turn around. Ah, there they are.
Here’s one at Litlafoss, carrying a sheep on its back.
Are these really “trolls” and “troll sheep”? Well, are the meanings of these words really “things”? We live in a world of appearances, and use language to navigate between them, but the appearances are separate from the language.
To date, there is no other language for these appearances, such as here at Stekkalækur:
And calling this view of the troll environment at Litlafoss geology doesn’t help much, except to produce awe, which is to say, to drive you away, when you might need to learn how to get close.
Truth is, volcanic rock breaks in patterns that matches the patterning of the human mind. This is our environment. The alternative would be to call the appearances an error, which is just too tidy and elitist.
Behaviour like that is enough to make you imagine cartoon trolls …
… above a waterfall full of real ones.
That is a betrayal of the appearances. It makes the world safe. It isn’t.
If not honoured, trolls prey on us.