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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hidden in the Hills. By John von Daler

                I'll search here, I thought. This must be where she has seen them.

                Iceland's #Tingvellir plain stretched out beneath me like some great puzzle for the gods, its lava, grass and waterways all so large and diffuse that only the most astute of those dieties would have been able to find the connecting patterns.
                Under me the mountain overlooking the plain was cracked with fissures deep enough to reach to what in my moral geography used to be Hades. Now, since heaven and hell had given up their placements in space and earth, the fissures reached down toward something much worse: an unfathomably distant and unknown place with unimaginable inhabitants and unbelievable interiors.
                Over me some ravens swirled and dived while the wind tugged at my coat and puffed at my footing. Somewhere across the plain a little white church, the only cultural sign to which I could relate, stuck out of the lava and grass like a lighted match in the cupped hands of god. Everything else was wild and troublesome.
                But then again, #Bjørk herself was wild and troublesome. On concert tours I often flicked on the TV late at night to see if there was something worth watching. Most hotels had MTV or something like it, but nothing ever caught my attention except for Bjørk. She always came up with something I had not expected, a twist, some new instruments, a quirky melody, a wild costume, some deceptively simple lyrics. She could fascinate me. That was why I had suddenly remembered an interview with her seen late at night somewhere in the Danish provinces. The interviewer had reproached her for being a celebrity identified with nature and things organic while at the same time using computer-generated sounds and rhythms.
                Computers? she had answered. They have always been up in the hills. As Bjørk looked calmly into his eyes, the interviewer clearly had trouble going on.
                That was why when I got to Tingvellir I knew that it must be here that she meant and I peered into one crevice after another looking for Bjørk's computer. Or was it on the wings of a raven up above? Or behind the altar of the little church?                
                All I know is that I believed her - and still do. The hills of Tingvellir can undoubtedly reveal untold secrets if you dare to look and to listen.

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