The sunset casts a brilliant, low, light across the landscape, smearing silent shadows from my boots across the beach. In my hand, a hundred years, a thousand years, a hundred decades of precipitation, frozen in the form of a diamond, a crystal clear commemoration of precipitation. A rugged chunk of time, a temporal crystal, a frozen saga of storms and silence.
Iceland is enigmatic: uniformly beautiful, unendingly fractured, utterly captivating. After a long day driving, down roads and gravel tracks, this beach, beside a glacial lake, offers an unexpected surprise in the form of these clear ice boulders, these glacial gems.
Tress set down rings as they grow each year: with ice, it’s more about deposits of rain and ash, successive layers of wisdom, frosted one upon the other, dateable, differentiated, delicate. Most notably, the silent records of eruptions: black layers, imperfections that melt early as they suck the heat from the sun.
Glaciers are neither silent, nor motionless, despite their sedentary reputation, they are an awesome force that simply scales out at a different tempo. They shear and shatter, calve and cave, spewing forth a jumbled field of shattered time that gently drifts to the far shore, finally alighting in it’s last minutes upon the beach. Accelerating towards it’s liquid end.
The water is shockingly cold as i reach in: grasping the slippery ice gives it weight and meaning. I lift it up, watching the light catch, distort, reflect. Other worlds splintered into view as the heat of my hand causes cold rivulets to through my fingers, falling through to my boots below.
As the sun sets, a fiery red glow suffuses the sky, reflected back at me from ice and water. I turn my back, black rock crunching underfoot as i head for the road. On the beach, i leave behind the history written in ice, sculpted by the wind, a story frozen in time, ending one cycle, starting the next. Endlessly flowing through forms.
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