Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Ancient Gesture

Penelope and the Suitors, John William Waterhouse, 1912. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Aberdeen, UK.

I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
Penelope did this too.
And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day
And undoing it all through the night;
Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight;
And along towards morning, when you think it will never be light,
And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where, for years.
Suddenly you burst into tears;
There is simply nothing else to do.

Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night, 1886, Dora Wheeler, Silk Embroidered with Silk Thread, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique,
In the very best tradition, classic, Greek;
Ulysses did this too.
But only as a gesture,—a gesture which implied
To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak.
He learned it from Penelope...
Penelope, who really cried. 

Penelope Weeping over the Bow of Ulysses, c. 1779, Angelica Kauffman, Wolverhampton Art Gallery (OP 531). Cartwright Bequest, 1887.Versions: The Burghley House Collection; Engraving by J-M. Delattre and F.Bartolozzi, 1779

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

In keeping with yesterday's theme somewhat, it is true that all things which we face today, someone has faced yesterday in their own way. So a few lessons come out of that for me... First, be kind to others especially when they deserve it least because you do not know what they are going thru and you yourself may walk a similar path in your lifetime. Second, allow others to help you because while no to situations are exactly the same, you are not alone. And Lastly, we are all human... flawed, vulnerable  and lovable humans.... so be loving to each other. ~ Fred

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