Quartz Outcropping in Eyrarhlið (Skutulsfjörður)
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.
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.
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.
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.
That is a betrayal of the appearances. It makes the world safe. It isn’t.
If not honoured, trolls prey on us.