Friday, February 09, 2007

An Embrace for the Ages

In this cold northern hemisphere night, I am warmed by an image from a new archeological find in Italy of an unknown, 5,000-year-old couple locked in an embrace not far from the home of Romeo and Juliet. Our common humanity unites us across the millennia.

Supplied by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (Italian Cultural Ministry), the picture depicts the Neolithic age skeletons of a couple found in Valdaro-S.Giorgio near Mantua, about 25 miles from Verona.

As a university student, I once delighted in learning that the oldest extant manuscript, written in Sanskrit, was a recipe for making beer. Our ancestors, I then felt, had their priorities straight.

Tonight, I am touched by an ancient unknown couple. Like them, the thought of an empty bed is unappealing. They and I aspire to the warmth of another person, someone of the opposite sex, someone cuddly, someone into whose eyes one might plunge.

We are so hauntingly similar in revelry and romance.

Elena Menotti, the chief archeologist at the site, told reporters it was "extraordinary." Such a find is rare, perhaps unique. They are really hugging and they died young, as their intact teeth show.

Perhaps they were the real Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers from long, long ago. We think sometimes that we invented love to the tune of the Beatles. We didn't. Maybe they did.

Whatever the case, the secret of life seems encased in that embrace. The greatest human joy is drawn from the urge to merge, to spawn; we, their children, are alive thanks to such an entwining.

All of life, that all-too-brief moment in which we awaken to awareness, from infancy through childhood and adolescence, to upright adult maturity, seems directed toward that coupling with another, after which we slowly nod off through senescence back into the sheath of gray unknowing whence we came.

This Mantuan couple has preserved the core for the ages, a monument to being in the fullest, most human sense.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely message for Valentine's Day! A breath of fresh air in this cynical world. Beautifully written.

Cyberette said...

Valentine Day is marketing: I suppose you didn't intend to write this blog for V-Day, did you?

We used to not celebrate it at all, until American marketing's pressure managed to export it beyond the ocean, just a litlle bit.

However, in my grand-mother's era, there was a custom: at any time of the year, if, at a dinner or a party, someone would find an almond with two stones inside, he or she would give one to a elected person of the opposite sex. They were then the couple Valentin/Valentine, and the next time they would meet, the first one who would say:"Bonjour Valentin", or "Bonjour Valentine" had won. Won what? I don't know!

Thailand Gal said...

Cyverette, Cecileaux would never do that. :) I come here to this site to get some brain food from an obviously wise person. Every time I visit here, it feels like being fed something nourishing. Valentine's Day? Nah. Not here. LOL

It is an interesting topic though.. although I can't begin to imagine the circumstances under which they would have been found that way. I just hope it wasn't fear that made them cling to each other.. but joy in something just passed or something just coming.

I've been blogging a bit about romance a bit lately. I think I'm hopelessly jaded. :)


Peace,

~Chani

Anne said...

It's the most beautiful sculpture on earth.

Mayou said...
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