I voted Remain in the UK’s EU Referendum. Let’s get that straight, from the beginning.
Let’s get it it straight from the beginning, because it’s the only thing about me, about this, which is. All is otherwise crippled and crooked – bent and labyrinthine are the roads we take now, as they have ever been and ever will be.
Let’s get that straight, because this is in actuality a thing of strange angles and sidelong looks, of visionary corner-glimpses. It’s the kind of thing where, were you to cut off my head in order to shut me up, I would somehow still speak.
It would be your biggest mistake, because freed from the idea of personhood, all you would get would be mad-memory-speech, flowing like a roaring and tumultuous river. Welling up like a freezing burn, it’d never stop, because you’d consigned me to the realms of the Dead.
Let’s get that straight, from the beginning. You would have brought me together with all the mad ones, all the marked ones – signed, sealed and delivered.
consign (v.) early 15c., “to ratify by a sign or seal,” from Middle French consigner (15c.), from Latin consignare “to seal, register,” originally “to mark with a sign,” from com- “together” (see com-) + signare “to sign, mark,” from signum “sign” (see sign (n.)). Commercial sense is from 1650s. Related: Consignee; consignor.
sign (n.) early 13c., “gesture or motion of the hand,” especially one meant to communicate something, from Old French signe “sign, mark,” from Latin signum“identifying mark, token, indication, symbol; proof; military standard, ensign; a signal, an omen; sign in the heavens, constellation,” according to Watkins, literally “standard that one follows,” from PIE *sekw-no-, from root *sekw- (1) “to follow” (see sequel).
Ousted native token. Meaning “a mark or device having some special importance” is recorded from late 13c.; that of “a miracle” is from c. 1300. Zodiacal sense in English is from mid-14c. Sense of “characteristic device attached to the front of an inn, shop, etc., to distinguish it from others” is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning “token or signal of some condition” (late 13c.) is behind sign of the times (1520s). In some uses, the word probably is a shortening of ensign. Sign language is recorded from 1847; earlier hand-language (1670s).
And under the banner which remains ever-tattered by the winds of time, we the Followers-And-Foregoers, would mass together; every gesture, every mark, every sign and rune and sigil would bring forth that which follows. A veritable flood of Memory and Meaning, Thought and Feeling.
person (n.) early 13c., from Old French persone “human being, anyone, person” (12c., Modern French personne) and directly from Latin persona “human being, person, personage; a part in a drama, assumed character,” originally “mask, false face,” such as those of wood or clay worn by the actors in later Roman theater. OED offers the general 19c. explanation of persona as “related to” Latin personare “to sound through” (i.e. the mask as something spoken through and perhaps amplifying the voice), “but the long o makes a difficulty ….” Klein and Barnhart say it is possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu “mask.” Klein goes on to say this is ultimately of Greek origin and compares Persephone.
Unmasked as roaring fury that washes away walls and divisions, the time and tide of poets, skalds, shapers and makers bursting its banks and rendering everything sodden with Soul once more.
soul (n.1) “A substantial entity believed to be that in each person which lives, feels, thinks and wills” [Century Dictionary], Old English sawol “spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being,” from Proto-Germanic *saiwalo (source also of Old Saxon seola, Old Norse sala, Old Frisian sele, Middle Dutch siele, Dutch ziel, Old High German seula, German Seele, Gothic saiwala), of uncertain origin.
Sometimes said to mean originally “coming from or belonging to the sea,” because that was supposed to be the stopping place of the soul before birth or after death [Barnhart]; if so, it would be from Proto-Germanic *saiwaz (see sea). Klein explains this as “from the lake,” as a dwelling-place of souls in ancient northern Europe.
Meaning “spirit of a deceased person” is attested in Old English from 971. As a synonym for “person, individual, human being” (as in every living soul) it dates from early 14c. Soul-searching (n.) is attested from 1871, from the phrase used as a past participle adjective (1610s). Distinguishing soul from spirit is a matter best left to theologians.
Or perhaps this is not clear, for democracy is a funny thing. I voted Remain, as millions did. Millions more voted Leave, and so we find ourselves as a country, preparing to disengage from a political entity in which we’ve been engaged for 43 years.
So be it.
Now we deal with the consequences, with the waves and ripples, the potential tidal waves and tsunamis. A storm is coming, because there are things beyond politics. Things that connect us all, things that dictate our behaviours and reactions, though they were begun generations before we were born.
A storm is coming, because the storm is always here, living as the All-at-Once. The mask is being removed, the veneer of the political and the personal has cracked, revealing the flux beneath. We have become abruptly aware of the lie contained in the notion of peace and safety; the raw meat of homeostatic maintenance has been revealed.
Of course, in realising the universe has teeth and eyes outside the firelight, fear is a natural reaction. It’s a good reaction in many ways, because it sharpens reflexes, focuses bodily resources, puts the mind on high alert.
But that’s all it’s good for. That kicking things up a notch. Anything else is just fearporn – as much like unto fear as pornography is to sex:
pornography (n.) 1843, “ancient obscene painting, especially in temples of Bacchus,” from French pornographie, from Greek pornographos “(one) depicting prostitutes,” from porne “prostitute,” originally “bought, purchased” (with an original notion, probably of “female slave sold for prostitution”), related to pernanai “to sell,” from PIE root *per- (5) “to traffic in, to sell” (see price (n.)) + graphein “to write” (see -graphy). A brothel in ancient Greek was a porneion.
Fun for a while, but in no way resembling the real thing, and make no mistake, there are indeed Fear-Traffickers out there.
All ready to fill the next two years (as the UK works out how to exit the EU and hurriedly sign new treaties, implement new strategies and statutes etc) with fear and loathing for their own amusement or advantage.
Don’t sign on their dotted lines, don’t sell your Soul for words and counterfeit images. Don’t let them tell you with pious faces that the personal is political, as all the while, they laugh at you behind their masks of righteousness.
Cut off your own heads if you have to. Stare into the eyes of your own skull. Know your own fears, as distinct from those they peddle. Know them intimately, carnally. Know how they taste, how they smell, the colour of their adrenaline-spiking skins, their sharp teeth and lascivious obscene tongues which whisper terrible things to you.
I voted Remain, let’s get that straight in the beginning. Democracy had other ideas.
The Kosmos, on the other hand, the Pandaemonic All, gives little credence to the fear-swung pendulums of politics. It is neither democratic, tyrannical, left or right wing.
remain (v.) early 15c., from Anglo-French remayn-, Old French remain-, stressed stem of remanoir “stay, dwell, remain; be left; hold out,” from Latin remanere “to remain, to stay behind; be left behind; endure, abide, last” (source also of Old Spanish remaner, Italian rimanere), from re- “back” (see re-) + manere “to stay, remain” (see mansion). Related: Remained; remaining.
leave (v.) Old English læfan “to allow to remain in the same state or condition; to let remain, allow to survive; to have left (of a deceased person, in reference to heirs, etc.); to bequeath (a heritage),” from Proto-Germanic *laibijan (source also of Old Frisian leva “to leave,” Old Saxon farlebid “left over”), causative of *liban“remain” (source of Old English belifan, German bleiben, Gothic bileiban “to remain”), from root *laf- “remnant, what remains,” from PIE *leip- “to stick, adhere;” also “fat” (cognates: Greek lipos “fat;” Old English lifer “liver,” life).
The Germanic root seems to have had only the sense “remain, continue” (which was in Old English as well but has since become obsolete), which also is in Greek lipares “persevering, importunate.” But this usually is regarded as a development from the primary PIE sense of “adhere, be sticky” (compare Lithuanian lipti, Old Church Slavonic lipet “to adhere,” Greek lipos “grease,” Sanskrit rip-/lip- “to smear, adhere to.”
Originally a strong verb (past participle lifen), it early switched to a weak form. Meaning “go away, take one’s departure, depart from; leave behind” (c. 1200) comes from notion of “leave behind” (as in to leave the earth “to die;” to leave the field “retreat”). From c. 1200 as “to stop, cease; give up, relinquish, abstain from having to do with; discontinue, come to an end;” also “to omit, neglect; to abandon, forsake, desert; divorce;” also “allow (someone) to go.”
Colloquial use for “let, allow” is by 1840, said by OED to be chiefly American English. Not related to leave (n.). To leave out “omit” is from late 15c. To leave (something) alone is from c. 1400; to leave (something) be is from 1825. To leave (something/nothing) to be desired is from 1780. To leave it at that is from 1902. Leave off is from c. 1400 as “cease, desist” (transitive); early 15c. as “stop, make an end” (intransitive)
leave (n.) “permission, liberty granted to do something,” Old English leafe “leave, permission, license,” dative and accusative of leaf “permission,” from Proto-Germanic *laubo (source also of Old Norse leyfi “permission,” and, with prefix, Old Saxon orlof, Old Frisian orlof, German Urlaub “leave of absence”). This is conjectured to be from PIE root *leubh- “to care, desire, love, approve” (see love (n.)), the original idea being “approval resulting from pleasure.” It is a noun relative of lief “dear” (adj.); and compare belief. In the military sense, it is attested from 1771.
Note the ‘And’.
Twin paths, with their roots in the same soil. Now, let us consider this with the eyes of the Soul; that Mercurial solvent rife with Primordial Salt:
This is being written on Friday, the day of either/or/and Freyja and Frigga. One, mistress of magic, battle, sexuality, who loves all comers as she wanders the world, soaring in her falcon-cloak as she has first pick of the battle slain. The latter, mistress of hearth, home, wise far-seeing keeper of her own counsel who knows much and says little; spinner of the weaves and bindings that mark responsibility and frith within kith and kin.
Two great goddesses, one faring forth in freedom, the other the uncontested and free mistress of all she surveys, the Lady of the Estate. Each, when seen with the eyes of the Soul, potent Powers with deep and ancient links to us. The dearly beloved that makes the heart sing; twin poles of inexorable magnetism, each providing us with a place to go forth-from-and-with, and also leave-love-and-return-to.
In the shadow of Them in this place and time, the notion of Where We Are From and Where We Are Going dissolves. We are here and now, with Them. As I said in my last post, we are here on this island, eating and drinking, swallowing its dirt.
Home then, safety even, is found only in confronting the possibility of our destruction, but also in our dissolution, in our liquefaction:
To souls it is death to become water, to water death to become earth, but from earth water is born, and from water soul.
Up we come from the earth then, not as persons but souls which are aflame. We emerge from the hidden springs, refreshed and burning, like bright figures springing forth from mounds, transfigured by the stuff of the dwellers in the earth. And what is earth but a giant?
earth (n.) Old English eorþe “ground, soil, dirt, dry land; country, district,” also used (along with middangeard) for “the (material) world, the abode of man” (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto-Germanic *ertho (source also of Old Frisian erthe “earth,” Old Saxon ertha, Old Norse jörð, Middle Dutch eerde, Dutch aarde, Old High German erda, German Erde, Gothic airþa), from extended form of PIE root *er- (2) “earth, ground” (source also of Middle Irish -ert “earth”).
We understand then, the Mystery of the Giantborn – the beings sprung from the earth, sourcing our strength from the chthonic roots.
Cut off our heads, and still we speak. Cripple us and we still walk without walking, because we understand the simple fact that we are naught without the combined congeries of Living and Dead. We belong to the earth, not the other way around.
This simple fact frees us from the masks of personhood, from the notion of individuality-as-singular-entity. For those on this island who allow themselves to embrace it, the earth on which we rest, the earth which supports our every endeavour and keeps us close in encircling arms of gravity, becomes numinous power of incomparable beauty and power.
The waves and ripples, the potential tidal waves and tsunamis, which before were so fear-inducing, now become circumstances to be met and dealt with, come what may. And as everyone knows, giants subsist on a very different diet to people, and survive in very different ways.
We Remain, always:
Fee. Fie. Fo. Fum.