Do Not Rush With The Geese

The title of this post comes from a fragment from Nebamun's tomb wall. It depicts a scribe, and a man bringing in the geese. Above this man is the inscription, take your time. The other description reads do not rush with the geese - which is apparently what the man bringing in the geese is saying. I find the whole thing enigmatic, to say the least, and it is also beautiful - take a look at the bird's eyes. What is interesting about bird's eyes is that, to me, they always look so flat: one cannot peer into them, they are just too black. And yet, birds still somehow convey a complexity of moods through their eyes. I think you will see that if you look carefully at the wall fragment.
So much depends on vision. How one is seeing things. It gets a little tricky when what one is perceiving is not stagnant: not a finished composition, but moving all around, through the symbols thrown at one by one's inner being, by one's emotions and drives.
Here is a thought card for you (a thought card, like a flash card: what is the definition on the other side of the card - what does one want to learn in association with this thought?): Relevance.This is the kind of symbolic word that can frustrate a gentle composition.
Has it ever happened that you have travelled and arrived somewhere new, and worried about your relevance with your coordinates from before? What about the relevance of one's work. These are all very "human" or "worldly" questions.
But relevance, aside from being "appropriate" to a matter, and connected to property, came from a word that meant "to lift up, lighten" - "to raise [someone] out of trouble". Relevance is to lead to healing: knowing the etymology, it is hard to think of it in connection with fame. Even reputation - which Epictetus writes so well about - is such a fickle and potentially false and harmful category, that I begin to see that worldly concerns are perhaps some kind of Pandora's box, a flash card one is better off returning to the stack, unturned.
And to return to the wall fragment, it is part of a context the purpose of which was to convey the importance of the owner of the tomb. Worldly. Human. Yet there are other messages on those walls, including the one that says, take your time.
It is true that we do not know how much time we have, but rushing never helps. As for what one will or will not accomplish in one's life, as to whether all that hard work will be relevant, it is up to others of they "raise [us] out of trouble" and bring us relief, raising us up and out of our tiny quotidian context.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License