If you find the news depressing and the New Year looms, I encourage you to watch The Jive Aces present: “Bring Me Sunshine” at http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=oXvJ8UquYoo&vq=larg The video is set in a TV studio where the presenters bring you the “shocking coverage” of the day. But all is not lost. The Jive Aces save the day. Watch it; you will take heart and be cheered.
On waking this morning, I was struck by the coincidences, connections, and the serendipity of life. We are on a roller-coaster – uphill, downhill, and upside down. Sometimes we are wide-eyed in wonder; other times we cover our eyes and howl. What will tomorrow bring?
Call it what you will, I take great pleasure in the connectedness of life. Consider the following links.
- I do not plan to go to the Garden Club Christmas Party.
- A friend insists that I accompany her.
- I commit to attending and taking a dessert.
- I attend as does another friend who comes with her husband. He is the only man at the all-woman dress-fest.
- Outnumbered, the lone male walks down the street to my house where he wiles away the hour with my husband. Their conversation ranges far and wide.
- Days later the lone male loans my husband his copy of Noah’s Flood by Walter Pitman. The book details the geological/oceanic evidence of a great flood.
- This morning, New Year’s Day, my husband mentions Gilgamesh, the Sumerian king 2700 (or so) B.C., who was immortalized in the 2,000 B.C. epic poem written in cuneiform on clay tablets. The Epic of Gilgamesh detailed the great flood long before The Book of Genesis.
- And I jump out of bed to retrieve Culture & Values by Cunningham and Reich. It is a textbook that I used when teaching Western Humanities. I return to bed to read the flood portion aloud.
- But… on the flyleaf of my book, I had inscribed the following words by T.S. Eliot:
“What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
What perfect words to welcome in the New Year!
How reassuring to see the isolated incidents come full-circle.
If you want to read the 2,000 B.C. version of the great flood, see Tablet XI at http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/
And don’t forget to cheer yourself with the The Jive Aces video.
Gilgamesh’s journey is to find the meaning of life. It is also his search for immortality. In the end, Gilgamesh is wiser than he was when he left. Immortality eludes him. In a translation by N.K. Sanders 1960, the poet wrote: “Gilgamesh, the King was wise, he saw mysteries and new secret things, he brought us a tale of the days before the flood. He went on a long journey, was weary, worn out with labor, and returning engraved on a stone the whole story.”
And we are so smug to think that we invented “it’s the journey, not the destination.” As for immortality, it’s the legend that we leave behind.
- Do you believe in immortality? What form does that immortality take?
- Write a short scene involving the afterlife. Perhaps you/your character stands at Heaven’s Gate. Do you beg? How do you account for your life on Earth?
- Look around, if you/your character is allowed to enter, what does he see and how does he react?