In particular what I find notable is a sensation I get to relive on each descent to that main road. It is past a kindergarten, which puts me in a good mood first - appertif, so I am then subjected to another glorious sight. Beyond the smokey bay, as Reykjavik is called, there lies the mountain (Esja) in the distance, long and falling down like the sweaters here, so-patterned anyway - and white and black arranged in lines. Yet although it lies only there it gives like no other place I know, the plateau visage that is broad. And so I am encompassed by height and I remember a number of things.
I remember many times, young, when driving through my rather flat home-country, bringing a sense of excitement to the journey by creating a mountain out of the low-hanging white-clouds that descend upon the road deep into the distance like it was always a part of our landscape. I craved the warmth that being surrounded or cradled by nature sort-of brought. Ha - but then it disappeared and I was in the middle of darkening fields and comely slopes, going into just more gentle ups and downs.
At a really desperate moment once I talked to a middle-aged American woman who had said she came from Portland. This was when all I knew of Portland was it's Mount Hood bearing over it, Master of Puppets so it were - those hands drawn above the graves of Metallica - yes, Portland had it and I was excited to be talking to someone from it. Why all I knew were mountains before music does not compute - but. Maybe she was wearing a black, baggy 'Portland' t-shirt with the mountain exaggerated in scale looming over behind the city like Hood's a resident of the city. More likely my memory makes up images to replace words much like cinematography and animation.
In the future, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art I came across a piece that really expressed the warmth that nature's cradle can bring. Well, it is the middle-ground of nature's cradling. It is not just being surrounded by tall grass. Nor is it being in a Norwegian fjord surrounded by towering whitecapped peaks. The feeling is subtler. We don't have nature bearing down upon us, nature is our humble guardian. The slopes are strong and we are bent in laden earth, sunken. And so is expressed by the following piece entitled 'July Hay' by American painter Thomas Hart Benton:
Now in the distance is nout but white. And now, often I live with that pure white - but when it lifts it reveals to me the most astonishing view that winks at me, winks at me cold from the distance and that is Esja. Well it took a long time to reach and explain - never would I think I did so successfully - but there's a sense of accomplishment I get from my living here, with that sculpture of geology distant. I wanted to be in a basin, but it never was so simple as that, and now I'm in that uncomplicated nook, nestled, breathing and looking at it daily.