mánudagur, september 26, 2005

ljón norðursins

I am thinking of a mountain far away, increasingly white, where snow is falling in flakes the size of a dog's paw: hundslappadrífa. I have it on good authority that this is in fact occurring and also that hundslappadrífa is sometimes called ljónslappadrífa; the paw is then that of a lion. This makes me, here, thinking of the snowy mountain there, think also of the people there under that mountain (chilly, I presume, winding their mufflers ever tighter as the wind picks up) thinking of lions.

Actual lions are as far from them as their mountain is from me, for it isn't Kilamanjaro or even Olympus I have in mind, but Esja. Seen in that light, it is strange that any kind of snow blowing down Esja's mossy flanks should be called after a lion, an animal that has never trod the heaths of Thule or Norroway.

But other signs point to a collective boreal lion dream. Think of the lion of Finland, the axe-wielding, crown-bearing lion of Norway, Scotland's royal lion, England's three lions passant, the three blue lions of Denmark surrounded by a flurry of hearts. Some great feline stalks the Northern imaginary, clearly, one prouder and less shy of daylight than the black cats of Britain. Perhaps the fall of ljónslappadrífa is his actual airy tread.

1 ummæli:

Nafnlaus sagði...

Since Esjan was mentioned I should mention that it is possible to see what it currently looks like here:


The picture quality isn't exactly great but at least it is easy to see that currently its upper half is mostly white. Also as I write this the appearance of the clouds covering its top imply strong northerly winds.


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