Friday, 20 November 2009
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Another abandoned house burned today, the same one I posted about recently when it was officially squatted and made a Schengen-Free zone. Arson? One could speculate...
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Today is 20.09.2009 and I've little to say but that fall is here, and dark nights still warm enough to stroll around in without mittens or muffs or such. We walk a thin line these days between hope and dolor, and I think it's safe to say that, honestly, at this point, the waiting is the hardest part. Our collapse lingers, a slow motion graceless tumble, as infighting and fracturous party bickering keep us clinging to old structures and ideals when letting go, fully falling into true humility, admitting fault, releasing blame and dissolving useless, demeaning obligations might be the only way to save our national soul. But what do I know. I've always found politics, finance and the ways of the worldly truly confounding.
And then there's all this, the true measure of our life force: our art. Visit these links and know that our hearts are still beating and our blood runs as hot and cool as ever, and that we'll never, never give up:
Add This Song by gusgus, directed by Heimir Sverrisson and Jón Atli Helgasson
gusgus web site
Hljóðaklettar Icelandic Music Label, feat. Rúnar Magnússon, DJ Musician and Thor Magnússon
Anonymous feat. Tanya and Marlon Pollock, video by Berglind
gogoyoko Fair Play in Music
E-label Designs by Ásgrímur Már Friðriksson
Reykjavik International Film Festival
Ólafur Eliasson at TED.com
Ragnar Kjartansson at the 2009 Venice Biennial
11th annual Iceland Airwaves music festival
Sequences Art Festival
And so many more...Do yourself a favor and check them all out *.*
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Ok, people, time to vote!
Go to this link, Blog Tournaments, and check out my competition, then leave a comment on the Blog Tournaments site to cast your vote for Iceland Eyes.
Let's take this to the next level, my friends!
Monday, 24 August 2009
p.s. Iceland eyes has been invited to take part in a joust! Really just a blog tournament, but cool anyway. Go here for more info and get yourselves ready to vote!
Saturday, 22 August 2009
|Locally grown carrots in Reykjavik|
The thing is, Icelandic carrots like these are absolutely delicious and while munching away one is hopefully not mulling over their price per pound. Local produce is, in general, super good, especially the greenhouse stuff like tomatoes, cucumber, paprika (bell peppers,) zucchini and various lettuces. I buy local, despite the cost, almost without exception.
Oh, of course, you nod understandingly, Iceland has all that geothermal power to heat greenhouses for cheap, just the reason why Alcoa and Alcan have set up aluminum smeltering shop there. And you'd be right about the smeltering part. But please know that greenhouse farmers are not subsidized in any way or offered reduced energy rates at all, though Big Aluminum is. Though I usually don't take political sides, this is a very dear issue to me. Read this article from Saving Iceland for more info. It's two years old, but totally on topic*. Here's a more recent one by a possibly even more controversial source, but it raises some interesting topics.
Here's the deal: Iceland is on the very verge of self sustainability, of creating a green eco-culture that will provide an international model of development. This book excerpt helps to define in more scientific terms our capacity to provide nutrient-rich foods for our local population. And this article from the Guardian adds a hopeful note to the argument. And here's a post of mine with links to great articles re: this issue of our future.
Out of chaos comes order, every time, without fail. It's the nature of systems at all levels, ultra-micro to macro and beyond. We have the opportunity, we have the technology, we have the attitude to make something brilliant, innovative and of lasting global impact out of the rubble of our economy. The Heart Park is a good start: a little patch of green in the heart of the city where obsolete structures once stood. A small gesture like that gives hope in an unmeasurable way. That's our future. We tried the other way and it failed us. Now its time to return to the land that made us.
We live here, we are forged and bound together by ancestors, survivors of tremors and blasts and lingering ash clouds that suffocated the less hardy, smothered the flora and culled our numbers to the quick. We were parasites then, half-dug into the raw skin of the island, barely covered by sod roofs and what we could weave off the backs of sheep. We were destroyers, desperately hacking away at the gnarled and primitive birch forests til the fragile soils ran loosely into glacial rivers, leaving nothing behind but the stripped volcanic muscle of our mother. We fought each other and killed, bore children too weak to live another day in the hostile depleted world into which they came.
Hundreds of years ago the island split and raged, taking back her own life through destruction. Dank black clouds lay thick in the skies for months, starving so much of what fed on her, breaking down the tenuous cycle of life until a numb stillness overwhelmed the last people, until the starved cattle and sheep could no longer raise their heads in protest. The oldest groves, home to Baldur and to sacred things, were finally felled, burned, lost. The island had sundered herself, had shaken and seared and smothered the desperate, uglied population that burrowed itself like lice into her fragile moss derma.
Yet some survived, and we are the children of those people. We are cousins, we are rare, and born of destruction. We are inheritors of a memory of overwhelming sorrow dusted with hope, and the progeny of the precious moments of lust between members of a dying race. We owe great debt to those who made us in the wake of devastation, and to the land that ultimately spared out lives.**
*I do not necessarily support the overall political views of the sources I link.
**excerpt, MAR 2004
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
|Mural at Frakkastígur in Reykjavik|
I was tempted to post about the price of carrots [update: I did just that] but thought better about it and decided to display this artsy beauty shot instead. Who really cares out there in the world that locally grown carrots are up to 900 kr/kg ($7/kg., or ~$3.50/lb.) though organic? Not you. It may not even seem like that much when you do the currency conversion. It's more a local issue. Like the cost of milk almost doubling over the course of the summer. It's a relative thing. And we are on a remote island. And it's expensive in Hawaii as well, I've heard. And H1N1 didn't really even get a toehold here. AND we've had the Most Excellent weather EVER here this summer. So what's to worry about?
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
|Hótel borg in the heart of Reykjavík|
Pabbi (Dad) told me that the wife of the owner of Hotel Borg* lived in this corner tower of the gorgeous Art Deco hotel back in the days. He worked there as a bellhop when he was a young teen and says that no on ever saw the reclusive wife...she was an utter mystery. Not so mysterious were the goings on of the adult staff in linen closets and corners, so I hear. And the dances and balls and parties that were held there! I've heard stories from the the older generations that would make today's youth blush. Somehow every generation imagines it invented the concept of drinking and dancing and kissing til dawn, doesn't it?
This is post number 492, everyone. Damn! Wow! Five years of Iceland Eyes, almost to the day. I'd have given up long ago if the international support hadn't shown itself in so many ways. I'm starting to consider what I should do to celebrate half a decade of this persistent hobby, and just exactly what my five hundredth post's photo should be. Ideas, anyone?
*Borg = city.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
Thank You to all who made this holiday weekend an Amazing Experience and Thank the Gods for our heavenly weather! And remember to thank the humble and lovely Bee on whom our lives may actually, literally, depend.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
We welcome her with love and joy into the world and thank her parents for a wonderful, memorable event!
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Where there wasn't one only months ago, a park appeared between Laugavegur and Hverfisgata, replete with a sweet heart at its center.
In this world of fleeting things it seems right to remind, in brick even, and in a very public way, of the power of that overwhelming, eternal and sometimes subtle constant we call love.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
We've got a heatwave going on here in Iceland, so we're all in various states of undress (!) roaming around in the sunshine like pleasure seeking zombies. Or something like that.
It is lovely here when the days glow so warm (25°C-ish today) and as usual I feel so happy for the tourists who get to see our little land all dolled up in leaf-greens and rainbow flower hues, warm in the shade and with a big kissable blue sky...
It's Magical *+*
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Update, June 17th 2012: As many of you know my daughter has been working at Eldur og Ís, the ice cream/crepe cafe on skólavörðurstígur. When she introduced me to Kristjána, the girl she most often works with, she said that we'd already met. Turns out, she's the owner of the pretty smile in back row of this shot from June 2009, the girl with the black headband. Our little city : ) ...
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
The house in the background is the Alsæla spa which is actually up for grabs. Anyone looking for a cool business opportunity in Iceland? Go Here for more info...
Monday, 15 June 2009
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Post Script: As you can see in this video there's more going on down at Austurvöllur than I realized, and I would be hard pressed to judge the elderly white-haired woman banging her pot in protest as a hot-blooded rabble rouser, or the woman wearing the national costume, or the nice-looking guy who's going to camp there as a stance against the ever-increasing cost of living. (Read more about the current situation Here.) These people obviously do not fall into the same category as those bores (admit it, you know one) who somehow get off on blame and injustice and (sigh) chronic, very public self-pity. Hurrah to the campers and may they enjoy their weekend tenting in the riot zone that is drunken 3 am downtown Reykjavik (no irony intended)!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Saturday, 6 June 2009
This is the little grove on the southwest side of the town lake where my father says he used to go with his childhood buddies for summertime picnic adventures. The trees, probably not much taller than he was fifty (ahem!) -odd years ago, have matured beautifully.
If you love old things and measures of our ever changing world like I do, you'll enjoy visiting the Reykjavík Museum of Photography website. The photo that I've linked shows an overview of the town lake, and from the very barren patch in the lower left hand corner of that 1919 image the lush little forest shown above has tenaciously emerged.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Read about His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's visit to our humble(d) island here. (Today's Fréttablaðið newspaper reports that China, which formally protested the visit last week, has now recalled its ambassador to Iceland. Go here to read China's latest bullying threat on the issue of Tibet.)
Yet while grownups threaten, war, abuse and defend in the world arena our children play at simpler games, hopefully, ideally, kept safe from the tensions and dramas of their fathers' lives.
Monday, 1 June 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Ahh, life is simple, sweet and lovely. Of course it all depends on your point of view...
Silence is golden, smiles are free, the sun shines and not so far from where I sit a bell tolls the hour. All is good.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
When we pulled up to the entrance to the Laugardalur botanical gardens this past weekend, just by the little zoo and skating rink, I saw some skinny young badass hanging about at the edge of the parking lot looking all jittery and expectant in his cool sunglasses and swanky sneakers. Two cars pulled up for whatever he was peddling in the time it took me to park and guess his game. By the time the third car was pulling away, the kids had run ahead of me into the gardens and the skittery, embarrassed-looking dealer knew that he'd been made by a 'suburban' mom. So just to bug him I called out in English Dude, you are So obvious and smirked. I know, he replied as he sheepishly jogged away, I know.
Monday, 11 May 2009
The play, Pósteria, was written, designed and directed by Eva, who also acted the role of a sweetly ignorant, hopeful, frustrated, underpaid and disturbingly gullible post office worker (seen here at the beginning/end of the play reading a Cosmo quiz for her coworkers.) It was a painfully truthful, quirky and very funny look at the modern day feminist dilemma, full of awkward and loaded silences interspersed with roars of energized rebellion against the roles women adapt to and, often all too willingly, adopt. Cyclical, contained, explosive, sentimental, ironic and shyly childish, the play is like growing up, coming of age, becoming an adult in a world we don't quite understand, even if any number of subtle (and not so subtle) clues are left here and there to form and guide us. It asks What if I don't get it? What if I don't want to take part? How does this secret happiness thing work? What do you want me to do!? and leaves us with enough thoughtful detail to help us form our own, very personal answers.
Congratulations, Eva. Wonderful stuff!
Saturday, 2 May 2009
New life is pulsing, quickening, in the warming earth and in our hearts. Elections have brought hope to many that our little island nation will survive our recent disgrace and grow again, if ever so humbly. We can't escape our pasts but are forced instead to review missteps, misdeeds, selfish living and a collective disconnect from the land we live on. But Nature, in her wisdom, always grants a new spring, a new chance to plant and nurture, sow and reap. The lessons never go away. They are revisited on us until we get them right, until we learn to cherish, selflessly, all that truly matters in our lives. What we run from comes back to us in ways we never imagined, offering new chances to bloom, and to grow.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
You've all read this Vanity Fair article about Iceland's crash, yes? Here's the tower Michael Lewis refers to. It's glorious, shiny and very very empty...
By the way, Mr. Lewis nails us in many ways, but yes, we do have more than ten or twenty names in circulation here, and no, not too many SUVs have been blown up and sorry, but even the women here can be stubborn and bumbling and inexcusably, unapologetically aggressive when in public.
It's a space thing: Dr. Seuss' Zax anyone? (and the Zax's even agreed to disagree, and not barge into each other sans eye contact, a disturbing local phenomenon for those from more cultured cultures.)
Sunday, 19 April 2009
It was very worthwhile to saunter over for immersion in American family-vacation reality, a big reminder that while daily silence, yoga and meditation are a way of life, humanity in all it's baseness and glory doesn't disappear in the meantime, and that we're all in this life thing together. In other words, those little trips (along with forays into urban, decaying Nassau) proved that Oneness, Service and Compassion are always the order of the day.
All that, and a daily double latte to boot.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Paths wind through the ashram foliage, yours to choose.
Here you are not an accumulation of all you've been, but an unfolding of pure potential at every moment.
Doves flow through this compact jungle, cooing the name of Sumer's goddess, Hu.
If you step softly you may even hear the soft rustle of a swami's orange robes on a path nearby, or the gentle chanting of students in their morning meditations.
Here you stretch your heart to the sun, on a beach, by the trees...
...and meet like-minded souls over shared meals.
And, of course, there's always the sea...
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
The dock at another little island in the Atlantic, called Paradise.
Keflavik to New York to Miami to Nassau and onto a small boat and suddenly you're there, at the ashram for a week of sun, kirtan, asanas and silence. Your mind stills, and all the pains of yesterday are washed away in the warm and salty sea.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Be their guest: stop by, order something warm and inspiring, flip through the selection of classic vinyl, put something on the turntable, have a seat, sigh happily, smile, and enjoy.