This blog isn’t dead, y’know? Neither am I – just missing half a foot, expertly removed by a team of surgeons led by a South Asian-extracted flesh-wizard whose last name means doing/getting. The health problems that have plagued me, apparently solved by skill with the knife. The name seems a little on the nose, if you ask me.

And people talk about the death of the blogosphere, whatever that means. Everyone seems to have an email newsletter of some sort, something that isn’t necessarily automatically public. You have to subscribe, write your name on the line – sign below or in the form field. Make your pact, make your exchange.

Not surprising, given the sympathies between communications. commerce, and magic:

(Will the real bird-headed, staff-bearing, magician exemplar please stand up?)

I’m not dead, and the blog isn’t either, because this was never just a blog – never just a poorly updated personal website.. It was, and is, a public interface point for the concept of COLD ALBION. Albion-as-island; an island in the North, that gave rise to myth and legend. A land stuffed full of gods and  spirits and crazed magicians. Cold, because it is a cold medium in McLuhan’s sense; it requires engagement, interfacing-with. Only by that do we begin to understand, does it begin to come-forth.

concept (n.) Look up concept at Dictionary.com1550s, from Medieval Latin conceptum “draft, abstract,” in classical Latin “(a thing) conceived,” from concep-, past participle stem of concipere “to take in” (see conceive). In some 16c. cases a refashioning of conceit (perhaps to avoid negative connotations).

conceit (n.) Look up conceit at Dictionary.comlate 14c., “something formed in the mind, thought, notion,” from conceiven (see conceive) based on analogy of deceit and receipt. Sense evolved from “something formed in the mind,” to “fanciful or witty notion” (1510s), to “vanity” (c. 1600) through shortening of self-conceit (1580s).

conceive (v.) Look up conceive at Dictionary.comlate 13c., conceiven, “take (seed) into the womb, become pregnant,” from stem of Old French conceveir (Modern French concevoir), from Latin concipere (past participle conceptus) “to take in and hold; become pregnant,” from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + comb. form of capere “to take,” from PIE root *kap- “to grasp.” Meaning “take into the mind” is from mid-14c., a figurative sense also found in the Old French and Latin words. Related: Conceived; conceiving.

As a concept COLD ALBION is where I take in the experience of existence on-and-with this island, and bring forth that which is born of the conception. In that sense, I give birth, I bring forth language, poetry, myth and memory:

What is knowledge to a pre-literate culture, but that which is held by memory; brought forth, shared-between, and returned? Rain falls, returning to the rivers, seas, and streams from which it evaporated. It wells up from the deep places to be hoisted to the heavens, only to drain back down, drawn by gravity to the centre of all things.

I am not dead, and neither is the blog. My mother is though.

She died, on the 29th of January 2017, in the ward next to mine, at 9:30 am. I’d been hoisted out of bed to see her, in the middle of the night, because we knew she wouldn’t make it. I spent four hours by her bedside, and she was unresponsive. I was in pain from the surgery – it had only been 5 days since the operation, after all.  Next month would have been her 63rd birthday.

Everything dies, and everyone is mortal- at best they become unrecognisable as themselves. They become other things, people and places.

Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well

Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The glory of the great dead

My Mother is now Memory. Memory is Mother.

I remember, she gave me words, held me close. Gave me language, told me stories. Handed me The Hobbit, introduced me to Asimov and Clarke, to Spock and Kirk, Picard, and of course the Doctor. She gave me the wandering wizards. When I was older, I gave her Rivers of London and others. Back and forth, forth and back – the weavings of a life well-lived. Though she died at 62, her lungs were just over 40, fruit of a rainslick-road – a motorcyclist’s gift.

Memory is Mother. Mother is Memory.

Within my blood, I carry her, within my bones. Within my heart and head, though she be amongst the dead. She carried me on her hip, in her womb. It is now my time to carry her, to bear her in my body, and to bring her forth when required.

I’m not dead, but neither am I as I was – for the knife cuts, but it does not heal. it is is not the thing that makes-whole. That is the body itself; bleeding, binding, pulsing. Electric arc along nerve, pumping wave of particles diffusing along concentration gradients, fluids dissolving, flowing solutions burning with the light of a hidden sun.

I’m not dead, but neither am I as I was – I am undergoing physiotherapy, orthotic and prosthetic appointments. I will need a new wheelchair. All these, before I am independent and functional – and I am at the mercy of those who can provide them. I have no idea when they are likely to happen, until they do. In this, I am a victim.

Many might deride this status – accuse one of running a so-called victim-script. The pernicious idea that we can and should be able to control our destinies absolutely, whether through magical or mundane means, that we might rise from the realm of the oppressed into the realm of the Archons? This reveals that a terrible con – a confidence trick – has been perpetrated on humanity as a whole.

con (adj.) Look up con at Dictionary.com“swindling,” 1889, American English, from confidence man (1849), from the many scams in which the victim is induced to hand over money as a token of confidence. Confidence with a sense of “assurance based on insufficient grounds” dates from 1590s.

confidence (n.) Look up confidence at Dictionary.comearly 15c., from Middle French confidence or directly from Latin confidentia, from confidentem (nominative confidens) “firmly trusting, bold,” present participle of confidere “to have full trust or reliance,” from assimilated form of com, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere “to trust” (see faith). For sense of “swindle” see con (adj.).

faith (n.) Look up faith at Dictionary.commid-13c., faith, feith, fei, fai “faithfulness to a trust or promise; loyalty to a person; honesty, truthfulness,” from Anglo-French and Old French feid, foi “faith, belief, trust, confidence; pledge” (11c.), from Latin fides “trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief,” from root of fidere “to trust,” from PIE root *bheidh- “to trust” (source also of Greek pistis “faith, confidence, honesty;” see bid). For sense evolution, see belief. Accommodated to other English abstract nouns in -th (truth, health, etc.).

From early 14c. as “assent of the mind to the truth of a statement for which there is incomplete evidence,” especially “belief in religious matters” (matched with hope and charity). Since mid-14c. in reference to the Christian church or religion; from late 14c. in reference to any religious persuasion.

And faith is neither the submission of the reason, nor is it the acceptance, simply and absolutely upon testimony, of what reason cannot reach. Faith is: the being able to cleave to a power of goodness appealing to our higher and real self, not to our lower and apparent self. [Matthew Arnold, “Literature & Dogma,” 1873]From late 14c. as “confidence in a person or thing with reference to truthfulness or reliability,” also “fidelity of one spouse to another.” Also in Middle English “a sworn oath,” hence its frequent use in Middle English oaths and asseverations (par ma fay, mid-13c.; bi my fay, c. 1300). 

The trick is this: that those Archons, those with power to move the world in certain ways, are masters, or rulers at all.  That the criteria for being what they claim is even correct. In good faith, we see these gleaming towers, these bundles of cash, the guns, bombs, and armies, and we think we see Masters. So, we must ask, who told us what Archons were, who told us “These are who you should aspire to be, in this way.” Who told us that they, and the way they do things, is even legitimate?

Who indeed?

What separates the Archon from the Victim? Wealth and power, is the obvious answer. The ability to have one’s needs met without effort, perhaps? Without suffering?

victim (n.) Look up victim at Dictionary.comlate 15c., “living creature killed and offered as a sacrifice to a deity or supernatural power,” from Latin victima “person or animal killed as a sacrifice.” Perhaps distantly connected to Old English wig “idol,” Gothic weihs “holy,” German weihen “consecrate” (compare Weihnachten “Christmas”) on notion of “a consecrated animal.” Sense of “person who is hurt, tortured, or killed by another” is recorded from 1650s; meaning “person oppressed by some power or situation” is from 1718. Weaker sense of “person taken advantage of” is recorded from 1781.

To whom is the victim sacrificed, how is it set apart? What is it set apart from?   Marked by difference, it is no longer subject to the same rules as everyone else. It must move, it must be in a different way to the rest of the herd – even, and especially if, that being  requires a different way of living and dying. Protections may be removed from it, or taboos and prohibitions might be applied.

I am a cripple with half a foot, who has lost virtually all his physical strength, is physiologically dependent on painkillers, who sleeps in his livingroom in a hospital bed because the hoist won’t fit his real bed, and whose partner has been sleeping on the sofa since  he came home from the hospital in February. It takes two people to get me up and put me to bed every morning and every night. I say this, not as a tale of woe. I do not want pity or sympathy, though I spent a year in agony as my foot [WARNING: following links contain grim photos] ulcerated, wept blood, and blackened before amputation – nerves screaming all the while.

I am now pain free thanks to painkillers, whereas before, I was still waking in the night screaming.

I personally know people who are in worse states than I – people whose daily lives I can barely imagine – and they survive. We live in such a way as to be living markers of what can happen to anyone. Even with the best medical care in the world, there is still the suffering, the pain.

There is still the disruption – the anomalous, the Black Swan that even the greatest cannot prepare for – a Great Flood that drowns all but a few. Those waters are more than a memory, they are Memory. The flood, the surge, the tide which swallows all into solution, dissolves it, makes everything part of it,

The waters are all-encompassing.

In ancient times, offerings were consigned to the place where the waters dissolved the solidity of the land; marshes, pools and rivers. In others, they were burnt, scent and ashes  rising up, only to fall again.

Where is the fire then? Where is that which causes those all-encompassing waters to rise, and by what power do they fall?

But that’s because they don’t understand language. They think words are things, that vocabulary is like a word-hoard full of pretty shiny baubles you can pick up and put down. They have forgotten the root of language. Forgotten that it’s made, brewed in the body and brought forth by the light of blood.

The above is part of something I wrote a week or so ago – the first thing that gripped me, that came forth without weariness. Because language comes from the body, from arrangements of it in particular ways as we respond to sensory experience, consciously and unconsciously. It is endless – experience generates a response experience which generates yet more…

Are we looking for a First Cause then? An igniter of the Primal Fire? A Luciferian, or Promethean figure?

Where and when did I stop being part of my mother? When did the chemical fire, the combustion of life become my own? Was it when I began to strangle, to choke as I hanged myself on the umbilicus? As the rope of nerve fibre and veins began to damage my brain through lack of oxygen? Was it when the surgeon sliced down and opened that womb to the world?

Was the knife, again, my FIAT LUX? My illumination by cutting?

All these questions are rhetorical devices, yes, but they are also genuine. Is this knife-gnosis, the knowing of the blade that separates?

In ancient times folk would consult an oracle, but all I have is me, here and now. And so we say that my mother is now Memory, and Memory is Mother. As we are conceived, so we are taken into the body,  and fused with that body. It, not we is the catalyst. Yet it is the interface betwixt us and the catalyst, which creates – that which brings forth.

So it is, that COLD ALBION acts upon us if we let it – language transmitting experience to be received. Such transmissions to be incubated in the flesh; ideas, oracles and images. Seed-syllables scattered hither and yon, waiting for fertile soil, deep dark earth. Engage with that which lies behind the words – see what happens to that which is left behind when the phoenix burns, that which emerges intact from the flaming waters.

As this island has nourished and shaped me, beyond all conception of race, nationality, or political boundary, so it lies quiet until you render yourself hospitable to it:

hospitable (adj.) Look up hospitable at Dictionary.com“kind and cordial to strangers or guests,” 1560s, from Middle French hospitable, which is formed as if from a Medieval Latin hospitabilis, from the stem of Latin hospitari “be a guest,” from hospes (genitive hospitis) “guest” (see host (n.1)). The Latin adjective was hospitalis, but this became a noun in Old French and entered English as hospital. Related: Hospitably

host (n.1) Look up host at Dictionary.com“person who receives guests,” especially for pay, late 13c., from Old French oste, hoste “guest, host, hostess, landlord” (12c., Modern French hôte), from Latin hospitem (nominative hospes) “guest, stranger, sojourner, visitor (hence also ‘foreigner’),” also “host; one bound by ties of hospitality.”

This appears to be from PIE *ghos-pot-, a compound meaning “guest-master” (compare Old Church Slavonic gospodi “lord, master,” literally “lord of strangers”), from the roots *ghosti- “stranger, guest, host” (source also of Old Church Slavonic gosti “guest, friend;” see guest (n.)) and *poti- “powerful; lord” (see potent). The etymological notion is of someone “with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality” [Watkins]:

The word ghos-ti- was thus the central expression of the guest-host relationship, a mutual exchange relationship highly important to ancient Indo-European society. A guest-friendship was a bond of trust between two people that was accompanied by ritualized gift-giving and created an obligation of mutual hospitality and friendship that, once established, could continue in perpetuity and be renewed years later by the same parties or their descendants. [Watkins, “American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots”]

My mother gave me words, and much more besides. She was my origin, and in return I shall carry her til the end, for there are some gifts which may never be repaid. She is now amongst all the mothers of Memory, all the way back to Before and After all things. Mum and island, dissolving into one. Assuming new shapes, new currents, in my blood and breath and bone.

And while the Knife marks boundary, eventually, it heals – it becomes part of the whole, while different.

A scar, a stump, a mound: all beacons, all signs, arrangements in the landscape.  Made by those who experience that landscape, to bring forth more; to become mediums and hosts to that which emerges. To gift it an eye, and receive Sight in return.

To make the pact of body and mind, to make oneself host to the Stranger, the wanderer, the alien God not of this bounded world – to be the gift that demands the gift by virtue of its existence alone.

This is how to speak Mother’s words.