i’ve been pondering the Old English rune poem for Gebo, which i think Thorsson translates thus:

Gift is for every man pride and praise,

help and worthiness, and for every homeless adventurer,

it is estate and substance for those who have nothing else.

i thought i already was something of a homeless adventurer, back in 2007; i had no idea i would one day take it to these extremes. i am appalled at the amount of money i owe my bank – the inevitable consequence of moving to a new country and then finding oneself unemployed and, it seems, unemployable.

However, the situation is of psychological interest. i’ve long veered between a Satanic self-sufficiency (or rather, misanthropy) and a gregarious narcissism, the former usually a disgusted reaction to the latter. Perhaps now i am close to being a literally homeless adventurer, i can find a middle position between eremitical misanthropy and foolish conviviality.

The form of Gebo is simple – X – there is something architectural in it, two staves crossing, joining, becoming a new stave – the tension of difference becomes a greater strength, vibrant, enduring. i think i need something like this balance, a way of escaping the closed circle of my self, without dissipation and loss. i just don’t know how. But i think in this state – the homeless adventurer, having nothing, being nothing – i can perhaps consider matters with unusual clarity. As long as i had some earthly security, i had no reason to really examine my way of being (or rather, not being) with other human beings. But something about almost total uncertainty, material destitution, my very mortal weakness, emphasises the essential lineaments of my solitude, my failure as a human being. And since my only hope of earning any money at all is by teaching, i cannot simply recede into my aloneness, as i did in my office jobs. My failure as a teacher is also my failure as a human being; perhaps i will, by some miracle, manage to amend my old error.

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