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The Way a Tree Covered in Fairy Lights Looks Like Life

It's been an intense week* for our big little island, and because I try to keep this space more news-free than not it's been a bit of a challenge to imagine what to write. Too peppy a tone, and it would be an insult to all those here who have been affected by loss these past few days (loss of loved ones, of jobs, of privacy), while getting too deep and dour would dampen what we most need right now: hope.

I also wasn't so sure about a photo, so I took a walk around the neighborhood in -10°C weather last night for inspiration. We're having our first real cold snap of the season and there's dry crunchy snow covering pretty much everything, making for a beautiful winter-in-Reykjavik ambiance that we actually rarely get these days. Still, I was mostly just cold and hoping to find something groovy to photograph before my fingers went numb. Then I remembered the tree.

Located at the junction of Laufásvegur and Skothúsvegur, this 100 year-old Sycamore is covered in thousands of fairy lights and is mildly famous, with its own Instagram hashtag (#islenska) and all. I was pleasantly surprised with what I got, and more excited about this image than the full-view photo, which I'll post on our Facebook page.

There's something intense and alive about the shot, like lifeblood pulsing through veins, or like a neural network. And I think that's what we need to focus on now: our network of family and friends. Caring for the loved ones still in our lives and saying a sweet prayer for the ones who are gone. And we need to remember the heartbeat of our society, and let compassion and love flow through us, and forgiveness. It's how we'll heal ourselves, our national soul and, ultimately, our land.

*If you'd like to know more about what's been going on here, as usual I'll direct you to read the great reporting at both Grapevine and Iceland Review.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll bite - even after looking at those two sites, I couldn't find anything particularly troubling or notable about recent events in Iceland. Rather than playing coy, could you just spell it out? The rest of the world is in the dark.

Unknown said...

Great picture!

Iceland Eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iceland Eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iceland Eyes said...

Hi there, Anonymous. I hadn't intended to be coy, but I get where you're coming from. So many of my readers subscribe to/follow other Iceland-related media outlets that I mostly wanted to avoid being repetitious.

So I looked around for a good article to explain what's been going on, and found this one by my friend Katharina from Iceland Review.

In addition to all that she mentions, you can add two deaths of young people (early twenties) due to drink/drugs and three who are imprisoned in other countries for smuggling cocaine. It may not seem like much to someone from a large country, but for us all of this is a sad symbol of a kind of innocence lost...

Btw, thank you, Brittany!