Monday, 7 May 2012

Memory of Life


The necklace is a few years old now, and made entirely of shells strung on fisherman's gut. It's not so old as to be an heirloom - there's nothing I have now which links me to the destroyed woman of 13 years ago - but I had grown a fondness for it. It perfectly represents the Mother of All Living, invoking the primal seas in broken bits of shell and larger, curving spiral shells. But this morning it broke when I put it on.
I have been trying to put it together again - piece by piece delicately threading the bits back onto the gut - but the clasp is broken, and I pack it away into a drawer and throw out the loose fragments of seashells.
It wouldn't have been the same, anyway. Even if I had managed to rethread most of the pieces and reknot the gut, it would have been measurably smaller and tighter around my throat. And although to a casual glance the necklace would have appeared just as before, I would have known that it had lost its integrity. Lost its magic, if you will.

I am calm about this loss. Too calm, perhaps. Since Samhain I have carried with me a diffuse network of Ancestors in a neural-net cloud around my being: going everywhere with me, present at my sleeping as well as in my waking. And the Ancestor Net is terminally fateful about the material plane at the moment. What to make of this, I don't know -yet.

Warren fixes a geyser pipe which was broken over the weekend as we installed our latest acquisition: an 8-channel day/night security camera PVR. When we slide the hard drive into the casing it will be able to connect to our smartphones, and thus give us remote views of the house and garden at the punching of a number. I am entirely ambivalent about this latest piece of technology - on the one hand, we can now check in on Scylla and Taranis from wherever we are. On the other hand, it's a proof positive of the paranoia inherent in post-industrial human culture, and I am disgusted by the fear it represents, infra-red eyes glaring steadily into space and relaying real time footage onto the huge TV screen inside. Shades of the house screens in Dune, enabling us to watch each others' every move, over fences and across roads.

When did we become so afraid of one another? When did we decide that the better course was to isolate ourselves in steely majesty behind twenty-foot walls, iron burglar bars at every window? For how long have we been cultivating this Othering of each other?
Culture, Terence McKenna famously proclaimed, is not your friend.
And are we too far gone along this bitter path of self-enwrapped hermitage that we cannot put together our networks anymore?
Is the circle of the Great Mother now entirely broken, and will we have no option but to cut our losses and shove it into the darkest drawer of the Memory of Life?