Liquid Island - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Liquid Island

Liquid Island

Published September 26, 2008

The sea is rolling – one,
The sea is rolling – two,
The sea is rolling
– three.
Sea shape, freeze! Sea shape, move!        

(A Russian game)

We are cold in the congealed, browned off scapes of spaceless flatlands, in smeared out cities, in the bowels of the mounted sea bottom. So cold, that in order to feel the beat of life we have to move and alter all the time. We talk on the phone overtaking the speed of sound; we take transatlantic flights competing with the Earth’s rotation. We change the climate, citizenships and lovers; we modify our haircuts, bodies and children – and suffer from fear and dullness.
    In captivity of the continental barathrums we, like polar bears, go berserk, degenerate and start fearing water. Instead of the seal of life we enjoy a teddy substitute of the Internet. But, same as polar bears, we are lured by our natural habitat – a thin girdle between politically divided land and the global ocean that thrashes towards us through chains of enchained rivers, waterlogged basements and dripping roofs.
    Here, along the liquid coast of the ocean, everything is flowing at the same speed as our blood: rolling waves, causeways of waterfalls and rainbows at the elements’ edges, sunny spotlights on the slopes of hills, climbing clouds and fog. The ocean reworks both the reflection and the reflected giving us the freedom not to change anything ourselves – and to fear no changes. Washed alive again, stars, triangles, circles, and other sea shapes recuperate and mosaic new pictures of being and consciousness.  
    The watersheds divide cultures where we stop adjusting reality to ourselves or adjusting ourselves to reality and start sponging the firewater of life. The fetters of dehydration dissolve in the bays of the Greenland Sea, in laving lava fields, in the craters of Hekla and Krafla. Everything changes, but does not change its essence on the liquid, hot island in the very south of the Arctic Ocean.  
    It rises from the clefts on the shelves of Europe and America, from the coasts of the Lake Baikal, on the Tibetan Plateau, in optical illusions of Sahara, in the light of the liquid star of Venus-Freyja. I can see this island from the windows of a Moscow apartment, from an aircraft ladder in the Charles de Gaulle airport, in the congress-hall of a Kuwaiti hotel. I know that Johannesburg’s skyscrapers, black soils of the Russian steppes, Indian jungles and Appalachian ridges also can be liquid, and I warm them with the breath of Iceland.
    I wash my face with Drangajökull’s ice, I bathe in the columnar faceted basalt of Spákonufellshöfði, I raise the glass of black volcanic sand. Skál! 

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