Does anyone else feel the writing spirit wince in the winds whipping around the internet – so tired of the “need” to keep up, that the idea of packing up a clay tablet and a chisel sounds good? Just sneaking off to a desert cave?
“I WILL PROCLAIM TO THE WORLD THE DEEDS OF GILGAMESH, TO WHOM ALL THINGS ARE KNOWN…” wrote an anonymous poet some 4000 years ago, laboriously carving the world’s first “novel” in cuneiform, onto clay. The epic tells of the Sumerian king’s distress at the death of his companion, Enkidu – of his attempt to undo this: the long journey in search of eternal life that Gilgamesh took – only finally to be told “the life you are seeking you will never find.”
Think of the desert silence into which each knife-stroke fell, as the poet carved that story into clay. Think of the message that he carved, the “lesson” that Gilgamesh learned: “THE [ETERNAL] LIFE YOU ARE SEEKING YOU WILL NEVER FIND….”
Eternal? Maybe not.
But 4000 years isn’t a bad run on the best seller list.