“Make each of your days a delight”: Siduri’s Exhortation to Gilgamesh

August 17, 2014

But until the end comes,

Enjoy your life.

Spend it in happiness, not despair.

Savour your food.

Make each of your days a delight.

Bathe and anoint yourself.

Wear bright clothes that are sparkling clean.

Let music and dancing fill your house.

Love the child who holds you by the hand,

And give your wife pleasure in your embrace.

That is the best way for a man to live.

Siduri’s advice to Gilgamesh. Siduri was the divine wine-maker and brewer, who lives on the shore of the sea, in the garden of the sun.

This performance of part of the Epic of Gilgamesh uses the newly-reconstructed (as of 2006) and completed Lyre of Ur, which was found in a grave in ancient Mesopotamia. The original instrument was destroyed when the Baghdad museum was looted, and this reconstruction uses original materials – gut strings, pink sandstone, lapis lazuli, gold. The string tuning is based on pipes which were found in the same grave.

Timeless advice from Siduri…

Gilgamesh and Siduri, a woodcut by Irving Amen (from here).

Gilgamesh and Siduri, a woodcut by Irving Amen (from here).

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