Mach es

Instead of giving up, I will go forth leisurely... I imagine myself with little fins beating through the tide, yet with each sunset, finding I am hardly closer to my desired destination that might as well be the Land of Punt. But travelling to Punt was no easier for the Egyptian sailors of the 18th Dynasty. Punt was their moon; travelling to it was their selenic challenge, except Punt was a satellite that brought gold, myrrh, ebony. The Egyptian moon god's name, Khonsu, means 'traveller' voyaging as he does across the night sky. With the moon, come phases, the origin of the very word 'phase' associated with observing the night sky as the shining orbs appear out of the darkness.
To accept the existence of phases is perhaps a great release: in the end, looking back, the beginning phase may be little more than an appearance, potential for fulfillment always having burned within. The difficulty is in making the right attempt; the attempt that suits the potential.
Mach es - means do it in German, stemming from the Indo-European knead, fashion, and may have emerged through the mixing of mud for houses. That's not the way Puntites did it - their houses were like reed baskets on stilts, reached by climbing a ladder (see this gif).
Intelligence, as opposed to encyclopedic memories, requires that one see all aspects to the problem. It is not enough, say, to be a good engineer to take on a project, one must know how to estimate the fluctuating cost of material, fallible manpower, logistics. Some people overestimate what it is that they can make for themselves, and this can become tragic.
It is possible to pick up fragments of a life without realising that the pieces form a larger scene, with roots. Let's take the banal example of the heavy necklaces that proliferated during certain fashion weeks some years ago. I don't recall reading anywhere that they were in fact imitations of the Egyptian menat necklace - worn by gods like Khonsu - comprising of a metal shield, or aegis, which may have beaded strings attached. That which was meant to bring good fortune and protection became but decoration. So there is the image of the thing, and the thing with its context and associated phases.




Some of us who are intent on continual growth might benefit from thinking about creation in terms of phases, where not everything is always apparent. It's like joining one of those alternative gyms after months of sedateness. Old hands might attempt hazing, particularly as one is clumsily getting back into shape: it is impossible to exercise gracefully without the necessary muscle. The inelegance of that beginning might put a person off from working out at all, when really sometimes it is better not to measure performance at the beginning, whatsoever.
It is possible to be a long distance runner in life. One may look forward to that one final laurel, the single one that may or may not be awarded to one upon death.
To mach es is to make something of one's life in good faith, to figure out how to use shortcomings instead of being victim to them. This of course requires admitting the shortcomings, which people like the imaginary engineer above may never do. Good faith means understanding that what looks like the darkness of night is really the opportunity to see the phases of light reflected on whatever may be in progress. It is necessary to have made an attempt to have a phase. It is a trompe l'oeil to take the darkness as the truth of night: if it looks bad, just wait until morning.
People who may come across as too serious or working too hard may wish to develop a sense of humour at their own expense (I really enjoyed the premise, if not certain details, of BRF). There are other examples: the aging capoeira Mestre João Grande uses his increasing slowness to focus on tactics to overcome faster, more bristling opponents. Or, the good soldier Svejk: he may have been naive, but he may also have been making a mockery (I use this example only abstractly). The makers among us are to stop and think: how may even our weakness serve the greater and bright picture of goodness?
It is hard to get things done, to mach es. Personally, instead of giving up, I will go slowly, however slow it takes to continue. It may seem like such a small thing, but I would really like to learn, with some foundation, two more languages, and finish my reading list, the one I set for myself. A friend said to me, but most people write their doctorate, and stop. I do not want that to be me: my job is to live scholarship, even if my future looks like a dark night of uncertainty.



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