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Sep 11, 2019

...took a new name: the Frost Shepherd. It was in trying to understand this act, its causes, and its consequences, that I first thought this second volume might be necessary.  Even as it happened, I sensed a moment of diversion, of what an old mentor would have called a potential “rupture” in history.

In the old Hieron, when such a thing was still possible, I studied and practiced as a semiotician of the New Archives. Because the Rhizome stretches as it does, and because we were so removed from the histories which precede us, you may not know what that means. In short: We collected the world so that we might better arrange it. This is how I fell in love with writing and with history.

Towards the end of my studies, in some north campus basement, Semiotician Emeritus Uklan Tel delivered a guest lecture for a select group out of some technical obligation to the department. 

“The world unfolds according to systems and rules,” he told us. “History, politics, war, society--they have velocity, they have force, they have momentum. But now and then there is a chance for great change.” Any average evening would be followed by an equally average day, but a rupturous evening might bring a day like one we’ve never seen. 

But these moments only carried the potential for transformation, he told us. These moments of historical rupture, he said, offered opportunity for the systems and rules by which we organize ourselves to find a new route. But most of the time? That opportunity was wasted. Things returned to the status quo. The moons past over the edge of the world, the sun arose, and we’d be back to normal.

I had the impression, as he started to speak, that he was trotting out an old lecture, something reliable, that even dead in his voice would impress on our young, eager psyches. But as he spoke, he found a startling rhythm, like an old workhorse building towards a colt’s gait. 

It was as if something he’d seen, something recent, maybe, had given flesh to words that had only been bone. I could tell that he thought he wasn’t just correct, but that he right. He told us, then, that we might not know it, but that we lived in a moment of rupture. 

And when I stood in that crowd and heard the Frost Shepherd speak, I recognized in my own blood, on my own skin, an echo of Tel’s old confidence in recognizing a moment rupture. 

When Tel warned us about the future, he was, of course right--and only now do we know how ironic this warning was, considering his own role in the events of the years that followed that lecture. Which is excuse enough for me to extend his warning to you: In times like these, the rupture is not one night, it is ongoing, and we are all participants in whatever comes next. Pace yourselves. Recognize the way you touch the world. And travel accordingly.

-An Excerpt from the Foreword to The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 5

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)