I had a late start this Monday morning; at 11:00 I was still in bed feeling sleepy after a restless Sunday nights sleep and Saturday nights party. I decided that I would try to make it for at least some of the 11:00 o’clock lecture so washed my face, threw on some clothes and dashed out the door…
As I walked/ran up the hill to the uni somehow my folder slipped out of my hands and papers from seminar work flew out onto the street and up the pavement. I ran about rescuing what I could and was helped by some other students who collected the rest of the papers the wind had carried away.
– With papers and notebook once again in hand I hurried up the hill and onto campus…until I realized that in my rush I had forgotten to check where my lecture was – I had also forgotten my phone so couldn’t call a friend to ask where our lecture was! I ran about a little and went to some lecture rooms but they were all the wrong ones.
By this time the lecture was half way done… I sat down on campus, ate a snack and contemplated the fact that I am left-handed and use the right side of my brain; that makes me better at poetry, creativity and language but worse at science, maths…and other important logical things…ahem.
I walked back down the hill…a little slower now and with a slight air of dejection and a bit of frustration at the folly of me!
I was almost home when I passed a furniture store and saw…a pillow! Since a while I’ve wanted some nice pillows to cozy up my room. I would turn this murky Monday right side up and get one! They had soooo many nice reddish pillows so I made a deal with the salesman; I would leave him my ID and take a bunch of them home with me so I could experiment and see which pillows matched the rest of my room. Once I had made up my mind, I’d return, buy the pillows, and collect my ID.
This worked well and I bought three nice pillows- that now lie proudly on my bed. One of the pillows is decorated with Latin writing:
Loqueris, Si vis me flere, Dolendum est Te lephe vel Peleu male se ipsi, Dormitabo aut Mandata, on satis est pulchra Ridentbus adrident, ita Ridebo.
I googled it to find out what it means and discovered something cool. The Latin on the pillow is put together by pieces taken from this passage:
Non satis est pulchra esse poemata: dulcia sunto
Et quocumque volent animum auditoris agunto.
Ut ridentibus adrident, ita flentibus adflent
humani vultus. Si vis me flere, dolendum est
primum ipsi tibi: tunc tua me infortunia laedent,
Telephe vel Peleu; male si mandata loqueris,
aut dormitabo aut ridebo: tristia maestum
vultum verba decent; iratum, plena minarum
ludentum lasciva, severum seria dictu.
which means this…
It’s not enough for poems to be beautiful: they must be persuasive
and able to lead the soul of the hearer wherever they want.
As we grin among those who are smiling,
so we tend to well up around those who weep.
If you want me to cry, you yourself must first feel anguish
Then your misfortunes will move me, O Peleus or Telephus;
if you speak inappropriately, I will doze off or laugh out loud:
sad words require a mournful expression,
angry ones need a face full of menace,
Naughty words suit a playful mood,
serious words go with sober topics.
So the Latin writing on my new pillow says:
‘If you want to be a poet
laugh with those who laugh
and cry with those who cry.’
The deadline for my poetry portfolio is fast approaching; I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect pillow message to brighten this murky Monday.
- Lately, a few little things like this have happened…they make me think that life is full of so much more than chance, luck and coincidence…