Trips to the countryside are a world unto themselves and I find that in particular they tend to have patterns, a theme song if you will; be it that sweet summer song, that for that brief time you sang along to and loved. It encapsulated and peppered the mood, only to become “that song” that makes you change the channel or think of Tequilas.
Or it might have been a phrase; “Oh man I just did another donkey rhubarb falafel”. A type of beer that gets gushed down in liberal amounts, blue M’M’s, anything really! A pattern of thought though, that is much more rare, especially if say it manages to lave a lasting impression on you.
Not long ago I found and developed one of those films, the ones that get left behind/forgotten. Admittedly its not the oldest of forgotten films, it was from last Easter in fact, but still it had that air of intrigue! Of what the hell did I actually take pictures of?
The film developed I found myself leafing through pictures of family, friends and well, a brown discarded toilet and a beached tampon and waterfall! What was I thinking at the time? Well the condom I came upon by the waterfall, in the parking lot, that contrived gravel eyesore, yes an eyesore! Why in the world do we always need to ruin everything, and I mean everything around what we deem beautiful? Why do national treasures end up like the eye of a hurricane, everything around it a neon whirlwind.
And I was right there! I got right back to the mindset I had been in, I could remember my thoughts of why we put a petrol station next to a natural Geyser, or indeed a gravel parking area right by the side of a beautiful waterfall.
Well I knew all the counter arguments then and still do now, I will not try to list them here, as I know you know them too. Instead I find my mind turning to the lovely piece of refuse on the ground by the car (yes I came there by car and am therefore a hypocrite). It put me in mind of a line from Fight Club, that tomb of quotes, one by Marla Singer as a matter of fact: “A condom is the glass slipper for our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night, and then you throw it away. The condom, I mean, not the stranger.”
For the remainder of the holiday my mind kept wandering to refuse, not in the sour terms of we are killing the world (which we are) but more to the complex interplay of the beautiful and the not so, it can be so difficult sometimes to make up your mind as to which it which? Like the smell of petrol, horrible or stingy sweet?
And the pictures kind of speak for themselves the tampon: used, discarded, beautiful, lying next to a seashell: used, discarded, beautiful.
And there are more pictures that convey this notion and the surroundings that they where fostered in, the westfjords of Iceland. It sticks out like a hand from the body proper and like a hand it gathers, logs from Siberia, candy wrappers and yellow rubber ducks, all find there way there. Stark beauty.
Would that we could cherish these single use but utilitarian thing a bit longer, so there fate should not be that of sweet summer songs past.
photos: Guðni Rúnar