Silja MaggUntitled (201X)

Despite the fact that this sacrifices proper exposure for pushed contrast, I’d post it on the strength of the interplay between the tattered outfit and the gorgeous skin tone highlights.

But, I’m mostly posting it because it was taken on the volcanic black sands of Vík beach in Ísland, or as you’re probably more familiar with seeing it: Iceland.

The way that many of the misogynist literary giants write about how Africa gets under your skin is the way I feel about Iceland.

I’ve dreamed about it on a recurring basis since I was approximately eight. Initially, in these dreams I’d find myself in the middle of a vast expanse of arctic terrain. In the way dream logic works, I just felt that this was Iceland. It was a number of years before someone informed me of the epigraph: Iceland is green and Greenland is ice.

The dreams continued but shifted: I’d be on my way to the airport to fly to Iceland. But there’d be traffic or I’d have forgotten my passport.

Finally, two years ago, despite being unemployed, I through caution into the wind and spent a week there.

I’m not yet to a point where I can articulate the impact of this trip. All I can say is that I’ve booked tickets to visit again at the end of the summer.

I could never live in Iceland. Being as I suffer from severe Season Affective Disorder, the paltry 3 daylight (3 hours in Reykjavik at Solstice) would quite literally kill me. But it’s a place where I feel strangely not at home but in my element.

All that is merely to introduce the fact that as Iceland becomes an increasingly popular vacation destination and more and more photographers tap into the alien beauty of the land, there are sadly fewer and fewer images like this that so effectively encapsulate the feeling of being there that they make my soul ache with the most profound longing.

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