On a fine February day in Iceland, the intrepid students of Viking Studies walked the lands once tread by Njáll, Gunnar, and others from Njáls saga, and climbed the steep hill known as Stóra-Dímon near Hlíðarendi. Eirik skald was with them. Many weeks later, after some reflection, with respect to spiritual pursuits, on the metaphor of the climb and the magnificence of the view from the top compared to that of the bottom, he composed this verse:
Clear cold crisp air: it cuts sharply,
but victory’s view from ‘vantaged point
above the abyss is the best of sights.
Below on land, we lumber around,
walking sleepers, wet and humid,
but few are those who face within
and turn their thoughts to tackling the heights.
The bold brave souls embrace the challenge
to climb the mountain, becoming dry,
and join the gods in the glorious sky.
Copyright © 2015 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.
(The Skald says: “This semester has been a bit more work than I anticipated, but the heaviest of the onslaught has passed. So there is some possibility of more frequent updates once again.”)