Franz Josef Glacier: Walking on Ice
Sneakers crunch over billions of glittering diamonds, throwing rainbow magic into the sky. But these gems have a love affair with the bed of ice upon which they sit — try to remove them, and they melt away, leaving nothing but their tears of mourning at the separation.
The cobalt sky boldly steals all color from the lack beneath. A mechanical heartbeat is the only sound to break the silence, and breath is seen rather than heard. The valley merely tolerates the presence of these interlopers, having looked on at passerby for millions of years and seeming to know that this, too, will pass. Time means nothing, it is simply the passage of the sun, sometimes building up and sometimes taking away.
The mountain peak, given the name of a man by man, ignores it all and stands sentry to this treasure trove, towering above all with forbidding beauty. There is nothing soft here. The wind whips snow and ice into razor-sharp peaks, black basalt elbows it’s way through a hard crust of ice, the mountain pushes itself into the sky in sharp, jutting movements. All is right angles and a contrast of color — here, there are no shades of grey.
I flew here on a wave of trust, borne on by the goodwill of strangers, and found myself here among the diamonds, cowed by the artistry of nature yet again.