I always admired order. Systematization of things. Folders on the computer (especially the big one called “miscelleanous” where I throw all sorts of files, and it is twice the size of the black hole now, and eventually I will delete it without looking inside and will create a new one). I like organising my belongings. Digital and physical.
I try to organise photographs I took in Iceland in 2015. How should I arrange them? What sort of pattern should I apply? Dead matter versus organisms? Lava versus water? Nature versus Human? Or should I categorize them by colours?
Different types of -scapes
Accidentally, as for a joke, few elements thrown together create harmonised landscape of Iceland. A green, lush meadow at the foot of volcanic ash hills with three sheep minding their own business. Two black sheep make this scene less idyllic and more wicked.
There was a Pride Parade in Reykjavik, different from the other pride parades I’ve seen. It was more of a Picnic, friends, families and children – all together. I think the difference is in the fact, that Iceland has done the job. Icelanders don’t talk about equality. They are equal. The parade is a great occasion to celebrate and be together, but no slogans need to be shouted out loud. They also opened Dunkin’ Donuts that very day.
And, outside towns and cities, sheep continue to graze, water continues to flow…
…a little geyser keeps steaming…
…mountains keep being monumental.
The weather of Iceland is legendary. One day can bring you all four seasons, so there is not much sense checking the weather forecast, maybe only if you want to know, whether the wind is supposed to be strong or extremely strong, but basically better is just to assume that you will resist gale force winds all day.
2. Living things
People (people, not tourists) and all other creatures seem not to mind the weather. As those sheep at the beginning, proceeding with the planned day.
May it be chilling on the seaweeds.
Or wooing a sweetheart by bringing her favourite snacks.
Snoozing and yawning is also a thing.
Full of contradicting forces this place is, and yet full of harmony. On the edge of two tectonic plates, with not-entirely-sleeping volcanos. Water, lava, sulphur, steam. Glaciers.
But so much life, too. Hundreds of thousands of Arctic terns in their noisy colonies. Hardly visible in the grasslands, until one comes too close and suddenly hundreds of them are in the air, aiming at one’s head with their sharp beaks!
Noisy are Black-legged Kittiwakes too, but at least, they are not dive-bombing. Their nests are out of reach. placed on vertical rock walls, inaccessible neither from below, nor from above. A nest is a narrow rock shelf, with place only for the juveniles and a parent, no neighbour visits here.
3. Green living things
How many years had passed, before the first plants started growing on the lava? Lichens were first. They slowly colonised rocks, marking them with bright stains.
Then came mosses, covering the rocks with soft green beds.
When there was enough soil material, the vascular plants appeared. Seeds, like hitchhikers, brought to the island between bird feathers, transported with the ocean currents, or blown with the wind.
And so the journey organized itself. Ladies and Gentlemen: the magic of Iceland.