I Weep

Jan. 29th, 2011 05:38 pm
thothmes: The cute-ugly dwarven Egyptian god Bes (Bes)
As some of you may know, I majored in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology because I wanted to be an Egyptologist. It was my ambition from the time I was eight, and my passion, but ultimately I decided that some of the things that went along with attaining that goal (like being away from my husband for months at a time because he would be a settled primary care physician, and I would be digging in Egypt, or the fact that we would need to live in or near a major city where the academic jobs are, which neither of us wanted to do) meant that ultimately I never pushed on and got my PhD. It didn't help that being at the tail end of the Baby Boom, I faced a situation where the likelihood was that I would graduate with my PhD to find that the jobs were already held by those in the beginning wave of the Baby Boom. Still, the study of Ancient Egypt is something I care passionately about.

I have seen pictures of the looting at the Cairo Museum, the priceless statues broken, the cases smashed, the objects scattered about. This is not just Egypt's heritage, but the heritage of the whole world, because to understand Ancient Egypt is to understand a vital important part of human history and how we came of age as a species. Things which have come down to us through thousands of years lie broken, never again to be as they were because of a moment of anger at a modern dictator who has no real connection to the products or the rulers of the past.

I wept when the Bagdad Museum was looted. I weep now.

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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
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Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
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Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.
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Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
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I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
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