22 November 2016

Serenity in blue

Posted by Jessica Ball

The past few weeks have been particularly hard for me. I’m a female, I’m a scientist, I’m a government employee with a temporary job. All of those things are plenty terrifying in the current political climate, not to mention that I see friends and colleagues who have even more reason to be afraid than I do. The worst that might happen to me is I might be unemployed in a hostile funding situation; the worst that might happen to some of them involves their safety and their lives as they know them.

I will eventually write more about why I’m clawing my way out of this pit of existential dread, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve mainly been concentrating on simply existing, getting done what I need to and detaching myself from the things that make me want to hide and cry. In the meantime, it’s important to remind myself – and all of you – what there is to keep fighting for, and maybe share a little beauty in the process.

During my visit to Iceland, I got to visit glaciers up close and personal for the first time, and one of the places we stopped was at Jökulsárlón, the pro-glacial lagoon at the terminus of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. The lagoon drains through a short river onto a black sand beach, and the contrast of the volcanic setting and the ice is a truly magical one. It’s a photographer’s paradise, and I spent a good long time taking photos there. It’s all the more poignant now, given the direction my country has chosen to take with regard to climate change and our efforts to curb it. What I saw on that beach may be gone faster than we realized.

But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy looking through my camera’s lens for a few minutes, and take a little serenity from the meeting of fire and ice.