“A Chicken in Every Pot” Stevie, our rooster didn’t understand the irony when he climbed into this old pot.
Love After Love Derek Walcott (1931-2017)
The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
The purpose of a proverb," writes Susan E. Vande Kappelle, "is to gain a hoped-for result through a verbal medium." There are many common, folksy, proverbs we've probably heard before:
• "A bad workman always blames his tools." • "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." • "Actions speak louder than words." • "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." • "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." • "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
The last one feels a little too on the nose these days, but we get the idea. A proverb is meant to make us act or think in some way by employing easy to remember imagery, rhyming pattern, or declarative, even provoking statements. Proverbs are a type of memory device for passing on wisdom.
Cultures throughout place and time have employed proverbs that speak to larger truths. Many of these are new to us:
• "The spoon maker's children often have the worst spoons" (Icelandic). • "Hunger is the best sauce" (Ancient Roman). • "A dog bitten by a snake is afraid of sausages" (Brazilian). • "The honey only sticks to the mustache of he who licked it" (Iraqi).
The book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament) is a collection of ancient sayings that were written down so they could be passed down from generation to generation. Most often, individual proverbs take the form of a couplet, triplet, or short aphorism. There are long lists of short sayings in the book of Proverbs, with occasional expositions about wisdom interwoven. Today's lesson is one of those interwoven accounts.
Wisdom, in the Hebrew Bible, is something that all folks can achieve. Proverbs 9 depicts a great meal hosted by Wisdom. Wisdom invites anyone willing to come and is hospitable, preparing a great feast. Wisdom is a learned virtue, something that is taken in like a meal and used as nourishment.
One proverb that you will hear in our household, especially these days, is, "It is what it is." Some parts of life are out of our control and must be endured or overcome. Saying this short, if somewhat glum saying, helps us cope with those things we must work through.
I wonder, what proverbs, sayings, mantras, or aphorism you are using these days? Have you found yourself returning to one from childhood? Are you making up news ones for these strange times? If you have any worth sharing, send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings, a remember, "He who laughs last thinks slowest!"