Feoh means cattle, which meant everything to the rune carvers. People kept sheep and pigs, but it’s the cows that were the money. Cattle are useful, they pull things, they’re delicious, you can make stuff out of their fat and their hides. Lots of stuff. Good stuff. Stuff people depend on and value. Stuff you must give away. You must. Yes this stanza says the people sceal spread it around, it sounds like shall, but the meaning is more of a must than that. You shall and you will and you had much better do it than don’t.
Old English uses very few words at a time, but in all the minimalism there’s a massive amount of meaning: often multiple meanings of the same word are intended, black is sometimes white, and frequently there’s a pun in there somewhere. To translate Old English we need to use more words than the original, and still it’s difficult to pack all that meaning back in. Translation fills graveyards of context and nuance, left behind to grow cold. What is lost by gaining? What do we kill dead? Alliteration and meter, the music makers of language. The beat, deceased, sounds abandoned. Look at this:
blac to gebeddan bleda gedreosaþ
Now say it:
black to yeh-bed-an blea-da yeh-dre-o-sath
There’s some sound in it, listen. Alliteration and beat. Three repetitions of B making a beat and there’s a pause in the middle: two parts sung as one statement. Or a call and response. Old English poetry has a … More
Remember your future, what you thought it would be. Put yours in mind, it’s different for different people. You know that, obviously, but I’m not talking about individual people. I mean groups of people, peoples, whole societies of people past and present. They way we think about future and what the rune carvers thought about it is not the same. To find the difference, if you want to know the root and the soul of a culture’s sense of future, get right up close to one specific word, and take an embarrassing long look. Make you both blush. Be. That’s the word. To be. This is the word for reality, and the way this word is treated always reveals a culture’s idea of temporality, and so much more. Be means existence, which precedes essence so some philosophers say, that we are neither nature nor nurture, but something foundational to both. This is true for people … More
Source a location. Ask yourself, why are you digging my grave? Have you recently murdered me or have I died of natural causes? If murder, you must source both a grave site and a hiding place.
Ascertain the time of year. If the ground is wet, you must find higher ground or you will end up digging not a grave but a small pond as you will surely run into ground water. If the ground is frozen your job will be much more difficult. Best time to dig my grave: summer.
Determine if you will be putting me in a box or will I be wrapped in a blanket or tarp of some sort? Will I have any covering? I am five and a half feet tall, so if using a box you will need to acomodate my height, unless you bury me in a crumpled fashion, then consider my width. A tarp will be … More
We die and we know it beforehand. We have a birth and we have a death, beginning to end: time is a line. We have patterns that change, the sun, the moon, the seasons, plants grow and then die and come back again: time is a circle. You. Look at yourself. Reading this, thinking stuff, remembering things, connecting thoughts, noticing surroundings, all in the changing now: time is phenomenal flux. You know this already like muscle memory because you experience it with your body: time is sensory perception. Death is a passage to another existence similar to this one except it goes on forever: time is endless duration. Something or someone or several someones made us and set us into a finite time line, but their world is eternal and non-linear: time is the distinction between creator and creature. There is no creator, eternality resides inside us, was never born and will never die: … More
Friends, our flock bids a fine and I feel fitting farewell to this fallen and friendless one whom I fear has flown the way of all flesh. One feels forlorn for the forsaken but for the unfortunate soul who’s bought the farm fear not for heaven forfend we forget thee. And when, departed friend, the fabled ferryman ferries you to the farther shore, to fire and frost, to the finality of forever after, forget not to find the farthings on your eyes nor fail to feel the one fit into your mouth for to pay the final fee, but for christsakes don’t pay the ferryman until he gets you to the other side.
I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I’ll be thinking about you and will light a candle. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in your time of grief, while you are in mourning, as you move through this tragic occasion, during your bereavement, it’s so hard to know what to say. You were alive for such a short time too. Eternity will feel much longer, trust me. What will you do now? Can you watch your people while they divide your stuff? Maybe you don’t want to see that. Making piles, what they keep for themselves or can sell, what they slip into a pocket when the other one isn’t looking. Donations by the door, lamps on the floor. Things going into garbage bags. It’s hard to watch. At least you seem to have people. So many die exiled in wretchedness and just imagine that clean … More
Greetings my dear friend. I congratulate you on your recent measurements of the globe, though I suspect your eyes will suffer from so much gazing at the sun to achieve it. If you are hungry for it I require your assistance in the computation of the number of Helios’ cattle. They are horned, though that may make little difference as all are worth the same money horns or no horns. They live in four herds of different colors, white, black, yellow, and dappled. Each herd has bulls in these proportions: the white bulls are equal to a half and a third of the black together with all of the yellow. The black are equal to the fourth part of the dappled, and a fifth, together with again, all of the yellow. The remaining bulls, the dappled ones, … More
First, you must find a reason not to live. There exists uncountable reasons but you must choose at least one and try to make it as ineffable as possible so the people you leave behind may feel suitably at a loss for words when they find you. An added benefit: it will be easier for the people who attend your wake, interment, scattering of the ashes, memorial service, whatever it is it will be none of your business, to speak in hushed and reverent tones if they find themselves capable of speaking at all. Amongst the reasons not to live you might choose: you are suffering from progressive melancholia; by ceasing to exist you will bring your existence to the attention of the person who barely knows you exist, though you maintain a unique awareness of said person’s existence; pondering the great nothingness of everythingness has inverted your thoughts into a perpetual retrospective arrangement.… More
The rune carvers, the people who knew the Rune Poem by heart, probably sang it. There’s a lot of evidence for that, not to mention putting a story to music makes the retelling easier to remember. We can all sing along, others joining in where memory fails. Poetry has beats and rhythm and we sing ours too, but we don’t call it poetry when we do that. We have another word for that. Language takes all the music out of poetry. Language did not take language out of music.
Music has an alphabet of its own: the letters are notes. And these notes we arranged into groups of eight. Octaves. Take a note, think of a sound. It’s got a letter, but from such a short alphabet. Now hum it. Hum it steady, you sound terrible because you are not actually doing it out loud. Do it. There you go. Your note, that … More
X: Portable wealth, not cows. Nobody pays in cow anymore.
Z: Some do.
Y: How is a cow portable? Imagine it. Pulling it behind you on a leash to go shopping. Loading it up into the car.
X: The smell of the bank.
Y: The smell of the bank! The wealth rune. Wealth!
X: We’ll have money.
Y: Yes! We will be rich! It’s so good to know it beforehand. Cows are big, right, this is big money, beyond our wildest fantasies rich. Yes. Fantastic. Yes. We’ll be swimming in it. Scrooge McDucking it through ducats! Plunging into property!
X: Capering in capital!
Y: Lounging in lucre, washing in wealth! Rolling in bankrolls, piling into pesos, current … More
Get acquainted with the cow. Make friends. This is a collaboration, not a battle, so you must find a way to join forces despite the cow’s opinion of you. Ascertain the cow’s opinion of you.
Ascertain as well the cow’s motivations. Why will this cow not move? Is it stuck? Is this a choice? If so, perhaps make the surroundings less comfortable for the cow. Introduce flies or possibly a beehive or two within kicking distance.
If the cow simply will not move, you must move relative to the cow. Change your frame of reference. Run past the cow and the cow will appear to be moving.
The cow’s acceleration is equal to the total force you provide it divided by its mass. Do not allow the cow to have infinite mass.
If the cow seems un-acceleratable, you must assume it has willed itself into a state of infinite inertia.
How are you feeling, you ok? You don’t look so good. You’ve been reckless haven’t you, got a bit too close and breathed in. I know what you’ve been doing. But hey, no worries, too late now, not to dwell, it happens, it’s all good, you’ll be fine. I’ve got the cure right here. Read it, it’s English. Look at the first line with the big letter Ƿ (wyn, looks like a P sounds like a W). It says against every evil rune poem and also to counter stuff an elf might have done, write the Greek letters Alpha and Omega plus a bunch of other things including my name looking all Romano British. It doesn’t say where. I think right onto your body. Makes the most sense, everything else is written there. Go on, you are safe in my hands. We need to get you better. Done? Show me.
Feoh means money, in the form of cattle. Think of a cow’s value: milk, meat, hide, tallow, vellum, pulling heavy stuff. That’s good money. Your stock picks will be bullish and your cow will fetch a good price. You have money coming your way. Or, you have debts or desires and will be paying money out. Be generous. Money flows and it’s going to flow through you more than normal. Whatever the direction, you just cast lots in front of something or somebody who has a whole different relationship with the future than you have, and might have some say in how what happens next goes down. You did that. Just now. Right in front of them.
Tell me your future. Tell me, what do you hope will happen before you’re dead? And what is it you are afraid of? Never mind. Doesn’t matter what. The future is not in the what, it’s in the hope and the fear that you hold now, in the present. Whatever it is coming to you, or coming for you, is happening now. In here. In your mind. There is no other future. Well, there is the one thing that is going to happen, Ear says it for sure. It’s coming to you and it’s coming for you. You’ve got it coming. You’ll choose the earth as your consort and sleep together forever. Everything is temporary, except that. That’s carved in stone.
EA. Diphthong: a compound vowel. This one is deceased, we don’t use it any more. What did EA sound like? Maybe like EO, maybe like AU, emphasis on the E or the A because all Old English diphthongs fall down dead in the end: you pronounce both letters but not equally, let the second one drop away to its death, thirty two feet per second per second.
Maybe EA sounds like the E in second. Maybe EA sounds like ÆA, like a hybrid of what A is doing in gnaw and in mad. More like gnaw, but it’s still pissed off. Or it was, EA is dead and gone now, some sounds die. They get eaten up, don’t be mad about it. What chewed EA away? Everything is temporary.
Carve a W and make it look like a fresh mound of earth in a valley. Dirt piled over a grave. Put it on a stick … More