A Coded Coda: Words Made Flesh


The last post here was in July 2014, and represented the closing of a loop, a circle unbroken – an entirely appropriate way to bring it all to a close. As I wrote at the time, there was no clear resolution to the alchemical process that had unfolded over the previous two-and-a-half-years:

Was there a final culmination to the alchemical quest – did I find the Philosopher’s Stone? Well, no, and I don’t think it works quite like that. But I have completed quite a voyage, and stand now on the threshold of a new venture, a new alchemical process. Having pursued these threads through some intuitive stratagem positioned at the shoreline of art and occult practice, I will say only that the Shoreline, the Haunted Shoreline, made a believer out of me.

It is interesting to re-read these words and reflect on them today. Because throughout the Shoreline project, there was, in fact, a sense that it was leading somewhere – that there would be some kind of culmination. On one of the final beachcombing expeditions, I had found an unusual stone ‘cup’, photographed here in situ on the beach at Birling Gap:


This find made quite an impression on me at the time, and I nearly used it as the basis for a final post, in which I would claim it to be the Holy Grail, or at least the Grail of the Shoreline. But this felt a little too glib: the idea was resonant, but seemed strangely incomplete.

Just over a year ago, I experienced a series of events which made the current – I might now say the prophecy – of the Shoreline manifest. These events are too personal to detail here – which may seem frustrating to those who followed the project throughout – how can I convince you that there was a magical fruition, one that arrived in a dizzying sunburst of synchronicities, if I do not detail it? Throughout the Shoreline venture, I tried to keep the question of ‘belief’ irrelevant (more on this here), so it is interesting to note that I nevertheless wrote, in the final post, that the Shoreline had “made a believer out of me”. But it does not concern me whether or not anyone else is persuaded – and in any event, whatever I were to write, there would of course be the usual rationalist refutations available: “these are just coincidences”, “you’re seeing patterns because you want to”, and so forth. Would these rebuttals be valid? Does it matter? Isn’t it like arguing that an extraordinary piece of music is merely a string of sounds: factually correct, but missing the point?

For some time I have been considering adding this coda, to mark the fact that everything did, in the end, reach a resolution, a culmination, a Revelation. I have been unsure how best to do it, or whether to do it at all. But in a week’s time – at Winter solstice- I will be moving house, away from the Shoreline (though I suspect I will be forever intertwined with it, and in any case I am only moving a few miles inland). Preparing to leave has brought things into focus and crystallised the need to document something of this. So here is a small mosaic of images, which if read in a certain way, will give a sense of what happened – but I do not invite you to decode them, rather to simply drink them in, and allow them to percolate through your own nervous system, in the hope they may bring you some measure of nourishment.



2 responses to “A Coded Coda: Words Made Flesh

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