I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Sunday, September 02, 2007

two are better than one

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4 v 9-12

I had thought all of that was original to Solomon, or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes-- that most existential of all bible books. I was surprised while reading Gilgamesh, to come upon these fragments in the context of the love of Gilgamesh and Enkidu:

A slippery path is not feared by two people who help each other.
A three-ply rope cannot be cut.
The Babylonian epic Gilgamesh predates Ecclesiastes. It is interesting to think of these germs of wisdom being passed around the ancient world, from one culture to the next-- more interesting than mistaking ancient cliches
for the unique wisdom of God...

Ancient idiom or divine utterance, it doesn't matter. Phrases like this endure because we live the truth in them.

1 comment:

Justin said...

An amazing amount of the bible mimics ancient wisdom from dozens of other cultures. Which is another one of the things that pisses me off about our fetishization of the damn thing. But that's another post entirely.

Good find, though. It pairs nicely with "two men shall not lie together" or whatever that is. We can point to Ecc and say "yes they do!"

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