|Looking south down the Eyjafjörður valley from Akureyri|
Thermos to hand and back up against a hay bale, wrapped up snug in outdoor kit (thank you 66 Norður, Rab, and Les at the Salvation Army shop in Cambridge) and with Fellshlíð horses peering at me curiously in the mane-whipping wind, there I was: sitting and reading about Glúmr's dream-woman and mapping out her path for myself, glancing across the valley, and north and south up and down it. The passage is a striking one wherever one is reading it; the immensity of the dream vision, and the significance of the event are further highlighted when one is actually in the landscape of the dream. This kind of experience is at the heart of what this project is about and the first glimmerings of the idea came to me while I was working on the farm here for the first time in 2008... reading Víga-Glúms saga then, I realised for the first time how remarkable it is to be able to locate this literature so precisely in the landscape as it is today. In the next instalment, more about Killer-Glúmr...and more about some of the specific places named in the saga and the people who live in these places now.
"It is said that Glúmr dreamed one night: he thought he was standing outside on his farm, looking out to the fjord. He seemed to see a certain woman walking from the sea through the district, and she headed thither, to Þverá; and she was so huge that her shoulders touched the mountains on both sides. And he seemed to walk from the yard out towards her and he invited her to his house; and afterwards, he woke. This seemed extraordinary to everyone, and he says then: 'It is a great dream and a significant one, and I interpret it thus, that Vigfúss, my maternal grandfather, is now dead, and that woman must be his guardian spirit, who walked taller than the mountains. And he [Vigfúss] was superior to other men in most matters of honour, and his guardian spirit must have been searching thither where I am for a resting place.' And during the summer, when ships came out [to Iceland], news of the death of Vigfúss became known."