Saturday, February 16, 2013

A View Toward Eternity: Senet in MY Photographs

Hola darlings!

I've been working on a wall in my dinette for the past 3 weeks now in my "spare time," putting up the ubiquitous "Gallery Wall."  LOL!  In the blogging world of D-I-Y and home decorating, they're all the rage right now, and have been for some time.  'course, I did my own version in 2007 on the staircase wall but that was when I was ignorant and didn't know any better, and just hammered a bunch of nails in the wall and hung up pictures in any old frame I happened to have on hand at the time, because they were important to me and reminded me of wonderful and pleasant things.  They weren't meant to make a "fashion statement".

That initial "gallery wall" was taken down when I put Maison Newton on the market in November, 2009, and although (by mutual agreement, LOL!) the brokers I was listed with cancelled my listing near the end of January, 2010, I did not re-install that gallery wall.  Always meant to..

Fast forward to about a month ago...

My (new and improved, cough cough) gallery wall started out simply enough, with only five items -- three photographs and two small mirrors.  But that damn wall soon took on a life of its own.

Now, my "Gallery Wall" isn't like anything the Earth as ever seen before, since it has taken on the symbolic form of a gigantic Senet Game (a/k/a Thirty Squares) starting, appropriately enough, from top row left to right, and then following a serpentine course right to left, alternate rows, down to the "End" of The Game (bottom row). 

I'm nearly finished with it, only have four more photographs to hang, but they are the most important and symbolic of the entire board, because they represent the final three positions plus Nirvana.  Yeah, I know Nirvana is an Indian term, but the concept of Nirvana is universal and is something a lot more people have at heard about than the ancient Egyptian Land of the Dead in the Western Desert!

If one lands on square 30, one departs to the Land of the Dead in the Western Desert (a/k/a Nirvana), which will be represented by a photograph of the Pyramids at Giza.  One might also be especially lucky and throw a number that will jump their playing piece directly to square 31. Of course, on the typical Egyptian Senet boards, square 31 is invisible, i.e., off the grid. It was understood by all players to be there, but the square was not physically represented.  And, I have to point out, that in the oldest stone-carved Senet boards uncovered in the Naqada layers (pre-Dynastic, and none a complete board to my knowledge), there were 33 squares, not 30! 

I have hung 27 photographs thus far, representing my biological family and my other family, the Magnificient Goddesschess Four, taken during our various travels over the years, including (of course) Don McLean a/k/a Mr. Don.   

Therefore, the final three photographs that I hang are of the utmost importance, since they represent the final steps toward the end/beginning/eternity. 

Here is a not so good photograph of what the wall looks like thus far, with 23 photographs, 1 clock and 3 mirrors on it:

The final row will march across the bottom, near the floor, starting with a photograph of our dear friend, Carmen Romeo, when she took a tour of Egypt some years ago (2008?), which will be positioned on the corner, lower right.  Egypt points the way

The final photograph, the Pyramids at Giza, will finish at the left of the wall, fittingly, aligned underneath the very first photo in the top row, which represents the "beginning" of my modern-day family (Great-Grandfather David Antoine Newton/Villeneuve and Great-Grandmother Laura Ruth Baily, and some of their adult children and their spouses). In between, the bottom row will be photographs of my father and of Mr. Don, either the last I have of them before they died or photographs from their funerals. 

The square mirror that is more or less in the center of the board and has the word "EmBrace" scralled on its border is square 13.  This represents the largest water hazard in the game, and sends a player who lands on it back to the very beginning.  There are two other, smaller, mirrors on the board; landing on one sends a player back five spaces.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...