Iceland: Transitions

Transitional spaces seem to have particular importance and prominence on islands: harbours, estuaries, and airports being the touchpoints between the island and elsewhere. Both functional and metaphorical, they are the gateways. It’s from these spaces that all roads and rivers lead. It’s through these spaces that all goods flow, immigrations occurs, and emotional farewells are had. These nexus points are typically hubs of activity, something of particular prominence on my own circular journey.

Iceland - Transitions

As i drive around the island, the pattern repeats: a port, a town, provisions, coffee, hotels and petrol, then remarkably fast, back into the wilderness. There are few edgelands in these tiny towns: you are in, or you are out. An occasional goods yard, a snowplough, a fuel station, then away. The urban barely flickers from the rural, many of these tiny stops housing just a few hundred people, little more than docks, goods yards, loading points, and home to a few.

Iceland - Transitions

The gently familiar lulling of the open road, the town, the open road, leaves days blurring, as the everyday loses relevance, replaced instead by exploration, by transition, by curiosity and the endlessly unfurling view.

Other patterns emerge: late afternoon i become familiar with the outbound lories, only two or three, carrying a shipping container, some farm supplies or white goods, completing their journey.

Shipping containers carry their quiet revolution everywhere: once their useful life at sea is done, they rust in farmyards, the final resting place of redundant fencing and decrepit machinery.

Containers revolutionised the transportation of goods, in many small ways, enabling pallet bound delivery, and the aggregation of multiple goods into one load: they moved prominence to distribution centres. The goods we convey make their transition safely out of sight, but still they transition: between ships, from ship to shore, across jurisdictions, their accompanying chits doubtless digitised now, or so i imagine.

Documentation forms part of transitions: records, logging, passporting, a combination of observation and control. A historical record of the most mundane of everydays.

We love to measure relativity: imports versus exports, in and out, back and forth. My own journey is circular, not simply around the island, but through the entry and exit. I transition. I am in transit. Islands in constant motion, bound by air and sea, insular. Bounded.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Iceland: Transitions

  1. Pingback: Iceland: Reflections | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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