Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Before the rains came....

A patch of maple leaves in a mass of evergreens about a block away....

This is the upper terminal of the Grouse Mountain Skyride cablecar system, and it's about three miles away, as the crow flies, from my window. This image is a 50X superzoom with the Fujifilm Finepix SL-1000.

And this is just to remind me that there's more to life than meets the eye.

Crosses these days are always associated with death. This one isn't. This is the ancient Egyptian "Ankh", the hieroglyph for "Life", and back then, it was commonly found as part of the expression "Life, Strength, Health" expressed in hieroglyphs as the Ankh, a candle-flame, and a shepherd's crook, together.

There was a more detailed version, which followed every mention of the King's name in official documents, and it goes: "Life, all prosperity, all stability, all health, and joy of heart" with appropriately more and different hieroglyphs. My point here being that the symbol for "Life" was often part of a very famous phrase of good wishes one offered to another, and it was the very opposite of the common associations of the Cross in today's context. And that's why it was part of the wish or prayer inscribed around the rim of King Tut's calcite Chalice, with the god of Eternity on a reed raft atop budding blue lotus flowers on each side, forming its handles. If taken in the context of the times, it goes like this:-

May you live forever,
Loving enlightenment,
Overcoming adversity,
And enjoying happiness.

Its literal translation goes:- "May you live for millions of millions of years, You who love Thebes, Sitting with your face to the north wind, Your two eyes beholding happiness."

Millions of millions of years means forever. Thebes was then the heart of their culture or enlightenment. The north wind was the cooling wind from the sea; the "red wind" or sandstorms came from the other direction. And the last part explains itself.

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