Read ‘The Edda’ at the Stairs Seyðisfjörður


The Edda is the title of two collected Medieval Icelandic folktales, prose and poem written by Snorri Sturluson. I have a large book with the collected stories of these Viking gods illustrated with fine art inspired by these tales. Being here in Iceland, during this dark month, at the close of 2016, I feel compelled to look at how artists have interpreted these myths about creation, day, night, stars, moon, love and war. I want to go deep into the stories and also live in my time. At this end of 2016, can we look back to look forward?


I happened upon these fjord-facing steps a few days ago, then, still covered by ice and snow, and felt compelled to reactivate this once used space. Someone, likely a fisherman, lived in the house that surrounded this site. Seyðisfjörður was one of the first areas to be settled in Iceland – dating back as far as the 10th century. It was inhabited by Norwegian fisherman in the 1850s. Wikipedia tells me the first telegraph sent from Seyðisfjörður to Europe was in 1906. It was also a port for British and American air forces during WWII.


Today, December 28, is my birthday. I stake my claim in this story of time as a person illuminated by what has come before and in preparation for what is to come. I sit against the wind, facing North, toward Greenland and the Arctic Circle, looking ahead. At my desk, this collection of tales and artwork sit before me as one of many history lessons with which I can encircle myself for the year to come.


My two friends came with me to this site, Sean and Leonora. The air was cold and bittered by the wind, but we felt joyous, optimistic, and playful even.

– Text and images by Cara Levine, 12/28/2017