In Canada, the trail running across the foot of this face would have been made by deer, but in Iceland it’s made by sheep.
In Canada, this would be called wild land. In Iceland, it’s a farm. It is an intimate social and political space that turns wildness into civil life. In Canada, that is done as either an industrial or an aesthetic experience, capitalized and individual. Here it is just common space. In other words, this stretch of the Bessastaðaá is a city.
If “wild” reindeer, a non-native species in Iceland, have naturalized by colonizing farmer’s fields…
The Englightenment in Iceland
… does that means that farmers in Iceland are wild mammals, too? Maybe, eh. Maybe, indeed.
A veit is a vein. It is a space of the blood pounding in your ears, the loneliness you feel when you are alone, and the connectivity bound to that. If you are alone in the earth and connected to it, you are the earth. You are huge, and walk through yourself. Welcome to Myvatnsveit.This is the most beautiful Iceland of all, a place between other places, a place that is, in other words, not a place but a spreading expanse of time, which does not exist, between places, where humans can settle. You can’t settle in a vein. You can only walk, or drive, or die. A vein is the same space within your body: a place between, where travel takes place. We need veits (wide-ness, vistas, and their winds. Only here …… can you find yourself.
Or get lost. Although it follows the land, the road is not the map.
Iceland is not wild. That’s the point. These reindeer in the East were introduced. In keeping with the gesture, they do prefer farmer’s fields over mountain heights.
I think that means that farms are wild in Iceland: not yet domesticated. Let it remain so.