The first time I visited, I was struck by the rawness of Iceland's land—a landscape of elemental forces (frumkraftur) in shape of volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, ice and wind, continually unmaking and making itself. It's relatively pristine and unspoiled still (in spite of the recent surge of tourism) and offers a great abundance of solitude where one can see and feel without. It's a place where I can get in touch with essence, washing away the distractions of white noise and visual disruptions: nothing is screaming for my attention—only empty spaces of blues.
Rebecca Solnit in her book, The Faraway Nearby, wrote that "These are the forces that will flourish no matter what goes extinct, where the poisons migrate, and how the weather changes. The sun will rise, the winds will blow, the waves will lick the shore, the earth will tilt on its axis so that there is more light in summer, less in winter, rains and snows will fall, if not as they used to, and the waters will turn to solid ice and melt again. This is the world that existed before life and will exist after us."
Beginnings and ends: to get a sense of what was and what is to come. This is the place to feel that whatever it is—is not readily at hand but is there nonetheless.
So I've returned to Gullkistan for another residency in Iceland to explore and develop thoughts and ideas inspired on earlier trips.
Some of those ideas & hopes:
*A trip to Vestmannaeyjar islands, formed by volcanoes 11,000 years ago except for Surtsey, the newest addition in 1963. Want to see a beginning. Heimaey is the only inhabited island. Its little town and shelter island lies between klettur (escarpments) and two ominous volcanoes, Eldfell and Helgafell. I continue to follow the winds of 'Eld'.
*A trip to Landmannalaugar, the largest geothermal field in Iceland. Its weird peaks are made of rhyolite, a mineral-filled lava that cooled unusually slowly, causing amazing colors.
*To revisit the land and stories of the beserkers on the Snaefellness Peninsula and relate to images of kami-kazi pilots of WWII and arctic terns.
*To search for evidence of driftage rights on beach shores (all the benefits of the ocean).
*To spot and photograph vardans, directional markers while traveling, walking, finding and sensing way.
*A navigational practice of the Vikings using icelandic spar (for sunstones). Some associations to consider: optics, light, refraction
*North American tectonic plate; relationship of Ca to Iceland on opposite sides (here(t)here)
*Collect basalt images.