“The Eternal Golden Thread” — PechaKucha Dubuque #8 — 30 March 2017 @ the Smokestack

P Fraterdeus

©2017 Peter Fraterdeus @ideaswords

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Last night in Dubuque, I was honored to join a group of eight other presenters, and an overflow crowd at “The Smokestack” for the eighth PechaKucha produced by Drea and Drew and Heidi et al.

What’s PechaKucha? How’s it pronounced? It’s Japanese for “Chit Chat” and it’s pronounced in three syllables, like: pe CHAk Cha. Or that’s what I’ve read. It’s a presentation format designed originally for design briefs by a group of architects.( That’s brief, literally. Each presenter get 20 slides, and 20 seconds per slide, no stopping, no reversing, no questions) You can find out more at the link below [1]

Many of the images used below are sampled from the great Google stream. I’m sorry to say that in my rush to complete the presentation, I completely neglected to properly note their sources. My apologies, I don’t mean to ignore copyrights, and will gladly credit these if reminded…

Title of the talk: Whatzametta for you, eh? or, I never Metaphor I didn’t like, or, What’s a Meta Phor, anyway???

“Eternal Cosmos” Shodo by PFraterdeus


The Cosmos, the Ocean of Story

Once upon a time, spirally dancing through the infinite multidimensional cosmos

there was plucky little species of bipedal critters

on a pretty blue planet

orbiting a pretty average star

in a pretty average galaxy

with a chip on their shoulder and a story to tell.


This is me learning about letters with my dad,

whose story is the one that I think of every spring at Passover.

He was 18 when he came from Hamburg to the US in 1939

a refugee from the Nazis

who were making Germany great

and in 1941 he joined the US Army

and served in the South Pacific…


He ended up studying architecture at the Chicago Bauhaus with the likes of Bucky Fuller.

I’ve always felt like Bucky was my godfather of sorts

the Maha Guru of Design science and neologism…

Of tensegrity and livingry…

His universe seemed to be a verb….

a story in progress.

“Ariadne and Theseus” Photomontage — PFraterdeus


Of course, the story leads through difficult passages

and many hidden challenges,

but that’s why we have this golden thread,

to help us remember,

that even when we face the monsters of the inner dungeons,

as we must,

that the thread of our story helps to guide us back out again.



These are often stories we been told about what we ‘should be’ must be’,

stories we then tell ourselves,

which become us, which we become.

Are we going to be Nurturing or Punitive

in our relations with others?

With ourselves?

We must face the monster in our labyrinth,

and learn to know its wounds in order that we become fully human.

Photomontage by PFraterdeus


Will we be a Creator or a Destroyer?

These ancient myths and stories along the golden thread

are all interwoven with life and death,

the Mystery of existence.

Creation and dissolution,

building and destroying.

My mother’s story is that the nurturing cocoon of a loving family

makes growing up with nine siblings in the Great Depression

a great adventure,

Photo PFraterdeus


and that love survived not only the depression

but also wwii, Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, Reagan and the rest …

She grew up in northeastern Kentucky on Tick Ridge

a hill top outside of Olive Hill.

Her grandfather and his brothers also came from Germany before the Civil War,

and settled around the Ohio River after the war…

“Gaia” Illustration


The Eternal Golden Thread is a fiber in the very fabric of being

in which no part can be tugged without affecting every other fiber.

And that fabric is not just space and time

but its also the fabric of life,

the fabric of self-aware molecules of information

manifesting in biology

wherever a spore or seed can take root

Photomontage by PF from various sources


So, do we manifest Coarse Materialism

or embody a Living Cosmos?

Do we spend our limited Ego Battery Charge

trying to keep up with the endless addictions of materialism,

to deny the prize to the competition?

These stories are often set against a cultural background

which is fundamentally one of biological survival.

Do we eat today?

Are we safe from the elements, or wild animals

or those stinking invaders from the next valley?

Photomontage by PF from various sources


We are drowning in competing stories of inadequacy and scarcity,

demanding that we believe that everyone else has it better,

if only we buy this thing,

get this girl,

eat this burger,

shoot that gun,

we’d be at the top of the world.

Photomontage by PF from various sources


These are the same questions that every biological entity faces

in its own manner, in its own domain.

How do they answer?

The eternal stories along the golden thread, all connected,

are the truest stories, but they are not old.

They are being constantly restored and retold and made anew.


The Hero’s Journey, the Triple Goddess, Odysseus,

the ancient Bards knew them all.

The Hare and the Moon

The Hunter and the Bear

The White Buffalo Woman

The Minotaur

The Boat of Millions of Years…

Atlas from Hieroglyphica Printed in Basel 16th C


Are we Atlas carrying the world on our backs?

It sure feels like it the last few months…

or Theseus stuck in the Labryinth with the Minotaur?

Are we the Moon Goddess, the Faery Queen?

The Silver Elves? The pixies, or the Pockwatchies from Monte Alban,

who are always singing a new song that no one has ever heard before,

not even themselves?

Jo Daviess County, Long Hollow. Photo PFraterdeus


The road goes ever on and on,

down from the door where it began,

as Bilbo Baggins sang.

Turn the page, and we follow the thread of a new chapter…

The Story, the Book,

the Thread and the Road are inseparable,

a single metaphor woven of story,

the story to find out who we really are…

Wood Engraving from Flammarion’s Meteorology (19th C)


From the quantum foam

flashing in and out of existence a trillion times a second

to the infinitely ancient turning of the mill of Time itself,

every thread is vital.

We are manifesting, with our biological avatars,

the most fundamental story of all —

the self-awareness of the universe.

We’re looking at the cosmos looking at ourselves.


The story, meta-story, metaphor I’d like to leave you with is this:

That the dominant paradigm is dissolving.

The idea that we can survive separately,

divorced from the interconnected mutuality of all life,

is absurd.

Only a delusional story imagines that it is not woven into the story of all.

Promethea — © Alan Moore


The Immateria, in Alan Moore’s coinage, is where imagination lives,

even as our bodies persist in space-time.

All art, all works of imagination, image, and magic,

exist in the higher spheres of the Ain Soph Aur,

the emanation of the quintessence of a living Universe.

Rainbow Gathering Great Circle, Montana(?)


The raindrop seeks to return to the ocean, to know the world,

but to come back to the core, the mother, the essence of life.

We learn that we are both part of a whole, and whole in ourselves,

because we share the nature of indivisibility

with all imagination, all art, all creation.

African Goddess Photomontage — PFraterdeus


The old order is rapidly fading, although this may take another few generations.

We decide every moment what story we are telling ourselves,

and our children. What story we are believing.

I hope you will tell one, live one, which helps to weave us together.

The Golden Thread is what survives. Every one I meet is my own reflection.

Love each other.


“PechaKucha“ Calligraphy PFraterdeus 2017


Look for me @ideaswords on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…

This is the colophon, the meta-story of this meta-story.

I wanted to get some calligraphy in,

because that’s a big part of my own story.

I make letters with all kinds of tools,

but my real interest is in language,

which is all about telling stories…


[1] The recorded performance of this talk is here: http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/dubuque/presentations/whats-a-meta-phor-anyway

PechaKucha Dubuque

Notes, Ideas…

How did we get here?

Linear Zero-D <> Cloud-D

Circle > Infinite angles is not zero angles, and a polygon will never be a circle, for same reason that there are an infinite number of irrational numbers between every possible rational number

Typographic voice

Quantum Magick

Mindful Marks calligraphy

Paleography cave painting, bear marks

Neural network quantum brain

Materialism vs Living Cosmos

Zen Emptiness

Fiddle Vibration

Ego Battery vs Plugged-in to Cosmos

Bucky Fuller design science

Systems Thinking

Politics as a scaled up Neural network

“At that point, his eyes sharpened and brightened even more blue, pointing three fingers at me that felt like it pierced my soul, he said in a deliberate tone, “Exactly. YOU are the story. Be your story. Live your story. Share your story.” Jeffrey Scult http://onegoldenthread.com/read

P Fraterdeus

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Ideas, Words, Idea Swords. Communication is the knot, good ideas need the right words to cut through it.

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