Archive for October, 2015


Like the unrequited cry of the last corncrake of the meadows of Clonmacnoise

October 27, 2015
Clonmacnoise - Interior of Cathedral - Ireland. Photo: Ingo Mehling

Clonmacnoise – Interior of Cathedral – Ireland. Photo: Ingo Mehling, Wikimedia Commons

I suspect that the following is ‘at the outer limits of its viable range’, an excerpt from a post on the insipidities blog, called ‘Pale Classroom (maybe first draft notes for a potential sonnet)’:
13. It is true that consciousness has always been dying – by its nature, it is a process-bound ‘event’ occurring fleetingly wherever the social autonomic has been suspended, where a new idea, a new way of doing things, has a chance to germinate. Consciousness functioned in previous ages as a defence mechanism of community process: it flared; took up arms in social crisis; plugging the gap in reality; it self-managed possibility. Faith only appears in a vacuum. Whenever world-building caught up with it, and reasserted material social process, consciousness died back (if world-building did not arrive in time, then community withers). However, an objective threshold of organisation has been passed beyond which consciousness may serve no useful function – it has lost its economic rationale. Crisis in world-production is now only addressable by technical discourses. Consciousness, by which we mean critique, has become materially superfluous. The glacial chatter of computers is surpassing, and grinding to gravel, the improvisatory capabilities of the social. Then, we may conclude that the historic decline of general consciousness accelerates in line with the piling up of the dead labour which confronts it as a surplus of adhering automated procedures, as a totalising system of self-integrating parts, as the organisation of organisation.

14. Consciousness, as consciousness, has always deliberately sought to occupy the outer limits of its viable range. It has sought to increase the rate of its reproduction in precisely those conditions least conducive to it. Its richly flavoured flesh, produced under conditions of stress, gently hint at coastal flora: glasswort, sea purslane, samphire and sea lavender. Consciousness has eternally desired to yield to world-building forces: its thinking is nothing but the sending up of a distress signal from the colonised unknown. All thinking is the desire for the relief from thinking. Consciousness is a sentinel posted in the breach of production, awaiting reinforcement from the categories of work. Poetry and scripture stand at the ragged gap where nature pokes through, waiting for the social (with its bulldozers and bureaucracy) to catch up. Every instance of consciousness lays the groundwork, in vigilant thinking, for its own supersession by social process. But also, historically, as a processive function, consciousness prepares for the moment it will never be required again. This last torpor, this higher order torpor, from which consciousness will not be reawakened, the reaching of its outer limit, is nonetheless, from its own position, a spectacular and cosmic event. These are the best of days, because they are the last of days, for thinking at the edge of things. Consciousness at last, one quarter, two quarters, three quarters devoured takes on an autonomous lustre. It is only where it is confronted with its own extinction, where its fleeting and emergent character are fully articulated, bathed in the final rays of the day, that consciousness may recognise the exquisite quality of completion by its own erasure. Like the unrequited call of the last corncrake of the meadows of Clonmacnoise, consciousness comes to, is really itself, in the moment it registers that it has been put to bed, that it is, despite its vigilance, nodding off.

Text taken from here
I’ve found that these passages (rather than the longer text from which they’ve been extracted) resonate with me on the level of what I was trying to convey in my ‘last post’ of September 27th. The ‘signs’ – dreams, little coincidences, the landing of the first Brent geese of the winter – carried on with me, after that ‘last post’, heralding events of more personal impact than I could have anticipated, the present moment of an ongoing crisis. So, it wasn’t about the ‘silly blog’, after all… not primarily. To shed the convictions which lent the sense of a grandiose ‘mission’ to the blog may offer a way back to writing, and living, to experience the magic in the everyday, without getting hung up on distant goals that can’t be achieved this minute, and to live in the moment and truly cherish the loved ones in your life.

A ‘New’ Leonora Carrington Painting

October 24, 2015

I’m drifting back into blogging… perhaps caught in the same spider’s web being played like a harp by one of the ghostly denizens in the lower half of this previously ‘unknown’ Leonora Carrington painting. I can’t wait to see better views of this amazing picture, which seems to convey a kind of ‘dark joy’.

Leonora new

It is a joy to see the reappearance of the motif of the egg, while the gracile, badger-like features of the central therianthropic creature reaffirms for me the role the badger must have had in Carrington’s personal mythology, perceived as, I suspect, a psychopomp – a guide of souls.


This has only become public a few days ago, a painting in someone’s private collection, assessed on television for the US version of Antiques Roadshow in Chicago, and first broadcast on Monday 19th October.

I can’t ignore this, I want to share it, and the timing of its re-emergence is of significance to me.