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We left Skaftafell and drove back across the Myrdalssandur to Vik, the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, reaching it just after dark. The small fishing settlement looked like a metropolis after the uninhabited desert we had been in for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at the cassandra pages
We climbed up above Svartifoss, higher and higher, and began to get little glimpses of the Vatnajokull ice cap that had been hidden by the clouds. Ahead of us to the north were these peaks, and if we had started... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Poetry by Ivy Alvarez, Rachel Barenblat, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Kristin Berkey-Abbott, Chana Bloch, Leila Chatti, Luisa A. Igloria, Mohja Kahf, Vivian Lewin, Vinicius de Moraes (Natalie d'Arbeloff, trans.), Roderick Robinson, Nic Sebastian, Claudia Serea, Purvi Shah, Rosemary Starace, and Marly... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at the cassandra pages
I don't know if I can actually write a post every day in November -- I've got a bunch of deadlines, singing, dental work, and some travel ahead -- but since I usually put something up on Instagram, I figured... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2015 at the cassandra pages
In the morning, still dark and drizzly, we drove just a few miles from Hof (just off the bottom right of this map) to reach the access road for the Skaftafell wilderness in the Vatnajokull National Park. From the road,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2015 at the cassandra pages
From behind the church at Hof, looking west. After all this wildness, I thought you might be interested in some human habitation. Hof, where we stayed on our second night, is a small cluster of farms and houses tucked under... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2015 at the cassandra pages
At Jökulsárlón (top right in the map above) we turned around and headed back west, across the Breidamerkursandur glacial outwash plain. For a long time, we could see this glacier in the distance: ...but it was only when we got... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2015 at the cassandra pages
This was the scene on Monday night when J. and I walked up the street to cast our votes in the Canadian federal election. The polling place was in the basement of a former parochial school, now turned into housing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2015 at the cassandra pages
In an hour or two, I'll be voting in Canada for the first time. Oddly enough, this morning I got into the metro during the morning rush hour, and who should be standing next to me but a young woman... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2015 at the cassandra pages
The North Atlantic at Jökulsárlón is monochromatic, but full-range. The volcanic sands, in various stages of tidal wetness, shade from absolute black to medium grey; the sky is the color of doves; the ocean, mercury; and against these shades the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2015 at the cassandra pages
By noon of the second day, we reached our furthest-east destination: Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, part of the Vatnajökull ice cap. aerial view from Encyclopedia Brittanica This glacial lake, 200 feet deep, developed... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2015 at the cassandra pages
The palisade of Lómagnúpur forms a corner pillar at the far western edge of Öræfi, dominating the view as you approach, but preventing any glimpse beyond. But when you pass it, what awaits stuns you into silence. To the left... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2015 at the cassandra pages
First, let's backtrack to a video shot near Eyjafjallajökull. I'm hoping this may give you a better sense of scale than the still photographs do. (Best if watched full-screen.) -- After my early morning walk beneath the double waterfall at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2015 at the cassandra pages
I thought it might be helpful at this point to post a map of the island. Iceland is about the size of the state of Kentucky. You can see Reykjavik, the capital, on the lower left. The road we were... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Our plan was to drive as far east on the first day as we reasonably could, to give ourselves the most time in the Vatnajokull glacier region, so we had booked a guesthouse in the small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Neither... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2015 at the cassandra pages
We left Reykjavik early Monday morning and headed out on Rt 1, the ring road that goes all the way around the coast of Iceland. We had a lot of driving to do, because we were trying to get as... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at the cassandra pages
We flew from Boston on the hip new no-frills Icelandic airline, Wow Air. The flight left in the evening, losing time zones as we went, and arrived at Keflavik airport around 4:30 am local time. We picked up our rental... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2015 at the cassandra pages
In a short time, I'll be heading back, heart in hand, to Iceland. We're going to visit dear friends, native Icelanders who were our former neighbors in Vermont. This time we're staying longer, we'll be doing some shopping and cooking... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at the cassandra pages
It's been a beautiful summer here. Great weather, a little hot, but bearable; some happy traveling and visits with friends, both here and out in the country; and a lot of lovely evenings when we simply took our dinner and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2015 at the cassandra pages
While adding some new pages to the Phoenicia Publishing website the other day, I managed to delete the home page. While reconstructing it, I decided -- whether fearlessly or foolishly - to try out a new theme, and ended up... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Coffee pot, fruit, and bowl of almonds on a Druze chest. Pencil on paper, 2002. Another version of the same subject. I love how free this drawing is. This week I've been taking breaks from designing, carving, and printing illustrations... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Northeastern University crew team members practicing on the Charles River. Well, I seem to be neglecting my blog lately, and a lot of it is due to the fact that in August, we northern people tend to get a little... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at the cassandra pages
When setting off into the woods, our friends S. and G. always wear bear-bells and mosquito veils. We didn't see any bears during our stay in the near-wilderness two weekends ago (though bears regularly ransack our friends' bird feeders) but... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Tuesday, August 4 update: my essay, "Becoming Canadian," is now online at the Montreal Gazette. --- earlier: The Montreal Gazette is considering an edited version of the essay I posted yesterday for publication next week, so I've taken it down... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2015 at the cassandra pages
Why do we draw what we do? I'm always curious about this and never feel like I know the answer completely. Obviously, something attracts our eye with a feeling of curiosity, beauty, complexity, color...usually I can identify that initial impulse.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2015 at the cassandra pages