The Iceland Saga: 3

In Iceland on July 8, 2009 at 12:00 am

EAC 136

The bus crawls along the narrow highway, rocking around car after car, merging with heavier traffic. Bunches of high-rises appear and vanish, the plain colors reflecting the glum sunlight. 

The more I travel, the more the sun entrances me – because it is so constant, following me to every country, announcing itself through every set of hotel blinds, disappearing every night in every city, beating on my neck in the tropics, anemic through winter overcast; pianissimo in the fall, forte in the dog-days of August; as light as helium; heavy as lead. But I have never seen a sun like this. It rises languidly to a certain height, then draws a horizontal line across the sky. It struggles to lift itself; it’s reluctant to shine its bleary rays. Resentful to wake, it splashes shadows across the land, making the black soil blacker still; as the bus turns along the highway, the sun stabs suddenly into my eyes, vehement, elderly. The sun has better places to be. Here, the sun is working overtime.

In October, Iceland has no awareness of morning or noon. Everything is cast in a lazy afternoon light, filtering copper everywhere, except in the pools of dark, the nooks where, in this ancient autumn, the sun don’t shine.


From The Legend of Pangkor, ©2008 by Robert Isenberg.


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