In one special place, the glacier Jökulsárlón runs all the way to the sea, and there it calves icebergs into a lagoon.
The icebergs are alive. They are pure white, yet intensely blue, striped by black ground lava. They melt and shift and flip and shape change their way to rejoining the wide ocean. One moment they take the form of a lion, the next they become dolphins. They jostle each other in the narrow channel like school children at 3:00. They pause on the black sand beach, as if taking in the view of their destination, clear jewels that refract the light as they transition from their solid glacial state. We pondered water molecules, frozen for thousands of years, suddenly released into liquid freedom, taking the water equivalent of an amusement park ride, down a rapids and over a cliff, whooping with joy.
There is also a feeling of loss, of something passing: these fragments of glaciers that have existed in their massive icy form for a millennium, disappearing from sight before our eyes, receding into the whole of the ocean the way flora and fauna disintegrate into dust. It seems important to walk among them and touch them as they stand on the beach, to register their current existence in pixels and memory.
The camera sees them in black and white and every shade of blue, from the softest pastel to the richest ultramarine, tinged by the shade of the light itself: cobalt and indigo at midday, teal and turquoise in the afternoon, and finally absorbing corals and golds as the sun sinks.
We stopped, briefly, for the night at the Hali Country Hotel, with a magical backdrop of ocean and sheep and birds. Briefly because we were so enamored of photographing our “ice cubes” in the endless near-Arctic evening that we didn’t get there until 10:00 pm, barely making it before the restaurant closed. Then of course none of us went to sleep because we were enthralled with downloading and cooing over our photos, and besides, it was still light out at midnight. And then it was morning, though who could tell because it had never been night, and back on the road we went, although none of us wanted to leave such a lovely spot. But other lovely spots beckoned!
All photos are available as prints. You’ll find them by clicking here.