Shared Reading: The Tale of Gilgamesh


“This brings to mind the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, the stubborn, hard king who should to ask the immortal one the secret of life. He was told that there would be stones on his path to guide him. But in his urgency and pride, Gilgamesh was annoyed to find his path blocked, and so smashed the very stones that would help him. In his blindness of heart, he broke everything he needed to discover his way.

With the same confusion, we too break what we need, push away those we love, and isolate ourselves when we need to be held the most. There have been many times in my life when I have been too proud to ask for help or too afraid to ask to be held, and in the frenzy of my own isolation, like Gilgamesh, I have smashed the window I was trying to open, have split the bench I was trying to hammer, and have made matters worse by bruising the one I meant to be tender with.

The live bough bends. The dead twig snaps. We are humbled to soften from our griefs, or else, in brittle times, become the next thing grieved.”

From: The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

Published by David Lee Moser

I am a sixty year old semi-retired elementary science teacher.

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