17 January 2007

cucumber time

It's been a string of days that are starting to merge into each other, each one a sky thinly washed with clouds, full of wind that sends plumes and mini-tornados of snow off the roofs of the buildings outside my work window. The ravens are soaring past the windows on the air currents, and AMPOP's "3 hours of daylight" seems to come up on my iPod's shuffle with alarming frequency. How does this little machine "know" how well this song fits right now? Although we are now up to a dazzling five and a half hours, I am still going to work and coming home from work in the dark, and the sun only appears and shines when there's a large enough tear in the cloud cover. On the weekends I wake to that flat winter light, completely devoid of gold, purified and filtered by the snowcover. It's indeed a frigid color but I love the way it diffuses through a room and makes the palest blue of the sky on those occasional clear days seem so vivid.

Still, the cycle of the day has moments of alarming color, when the reflection from the rising sun turns the cloudbank behind Esja lavender, and the mountains further to the north appear and disappear like white ghosts as the day passes and the clouds move. When the sun does appear, I let it burn my eyes as I squint at my computer screen, reluctant to close off those few rays when they are so rare. Such is winter in Iceland.


dtw said...

This morning was gorgeous, I could almost feel that you will write about it today. :)

The sky had dark blue and gold from a rising sun, and yet still the top of Esja was colored with lavender. I have no idea where it was coming from, since I wasn't seeing any of it in the sky, but it was beautiful.

katrina said...

dear elise! we moved to dubai for the very reason that we could barely manage the cold grey of winter on the east coast of the US... i dont know how your vitamin D production is coping with the light but it does sound lovely. if you are ever in the region i would absolutely love to have you visit!! ok, so in the summer it is a mean 120 or so, but definately a bit of a change eh? i hope you are still making and finding art in random (vertical) spaces. all my love!

Mr. M said...

Cucumber time! Excellent :)

tsduff said...

I never did see the ravens you talk about... or very few of them. G's cousin Asa who lives at the south end of town (Reykjavik) has a father who befriended one, and feeds it from his shoulder. I'm jealous. And I love to picture Esja the way you describe her. Enchanting.

The weather is so cold here that all my plants have shriveled up and turned black. Black ice caused numerous accidents in this mornings commute - snow in the southern California town of Malibu where I grew up... weird weird weather.

Paulynn Cue said...

Your writing is most definitely enchanting! And what a lovely word, I will like to use it more frequently. I have recently become enchanted ;-) by Iceland. Your blog is a joy for me to have found as I am dreamng of Iceland almost every moment.

For three nights and days in December 2006, I had the happy-stance to visit Reykjavik on my way to France. Since then I cannot stop thinking or dreaming about returning. The bright and happy colors of the homes, an effective, high quality of life, art and design where ever you turn, friendly people warm and welcoming, interesting conversation, and the landscape, nature, earth, ocean and sky, WOW! how breathtaking and beautiful, georgous, vibrant, vital, enjoyable so many levels, and on and on. With each thought comes my joy of imagining the adventure of a life in Iceland.

I am from the US, New York, in Northern Westchester County, near the big Apple. Just far enough that from where I am (I happen to be here right now) I can see a lush blue sky peaking through bubbly white sliver rimmed clouds. We had our first snowfall of the season last night and the day has blossomed into a cheerful crisp white winterland. Okay - so that is a bit exaggerated since the snow is already starting to melt. But the glistening as the frost bit trees sway in the cool breeze is blinding and engaging.

I now live in Los Angeles, at times by the beach in Venice or on top of a mountain in Topanga, where I graphic design and socially develop eco-communities for AIDS orphans in Africa.

Even my recent extended visit to South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya did not bring me this special feeling I have for Iceland. I am beginning to recall how many times I have said, "I don't like hot, hot weather." And I would go to Burning Man (http://www.burningman.com) to live out a hyper creative sleepless gypsie fairytale in the hot hot desert and wonder why I went there, again! I don't remember having ever said, I like the cold. But I do love fresh cool air, lots of it, ask my friends - windows and doors are always open when I am around. And in Iceland there is a bounty of fresh cool and crisp air - but not too cold to keep from smell the aroma of the island, the sea and earth...you can even see how good it feels.

Well, I have gotten into some rambling. It happens when I am happy and inspired! Mostly, I wanted to say TAKK!!!! for your taking the time to document your experience in Iceland, and hope that we might connect to share about moving to, living, working and loving life in Iceland.

You can catch me at

Peace and Blessings

ECS said...

dtw- I write about the weather all the time.. it's my default nothin' happening post, because it's so amazing and weird here all the time. The lavender skies have been cool recently though.

Katrina- Yay! I'm happy to "see" you here, and I might have to consider a visit now that I know you're there. Iceland's not so cold most of the time actually, and is rawther inspiring, so the weather doesn't bother me so much. I still have my banner from you hanging in my room. It was one of the first things to move with me.

M- I did it for you :-)

Terry- I was thinking about the ravens recently and how I wrote about them last year at about the same time of year. Seems to be a time for the ravens to be on the move.

Paulynn- thanks, and welcome to the comment section! Your comment is a blog post in itself :-)

Hulles said...

Lovely. I don't recall exactly how I found your blog, but I'm glad I did. I'm going to have to go back and read previous posts now.

This is the anniversary of my trip to Iceland and I intend to write about it myself soon.

Please keep up the lyrical posts, and thanks.

frychip67 said...

Hi ECS! Just found your blog while Google-searching for Eurovision Song Contest fans from Iceland.

I'm a fan of the Contest from England, and absolutely love your writings - keep up the good work, I'll be back to read more.

I wonder whether you'd be interested in being the Icelandic jury in an international song contest yourself? Please e-mail me at thebardofe15 at hotmail dot com if you'd like to know more. Thanks babe *x*

ECS said...

Hulles- thanks! I checked your blog out and it looks like you might have come through one of my midwestern readers. I'm enjoying your perspective on the town that you just wrote about too.

frychip- I'm going to email you.. definitely piqued my curiosity.