Whew, these 40 hour weeks are kicking my butt. Then I ran around doing errands yesterday (we didn’t eat dinner until 8:30 pm), and today we extended the two foot “peak” over our front door out another four feet. Looks great, but adding on to a 18-year old house and trying to make it square definitely caused some gnashing of teeth. I think the point of this–besides trying to get some sympathy, of course–is that this may be yet another short cliché list.
I don’t have a theme in mind, but do you ever get a phrase stuck in your head? I have been using the phrase “the worm has turned” quite a bit recently. Why? I don’t know. Just seems to be in my head. So let’s start there.
the worm has turned: when a person (or group) who is docile has been mistreated for a long time and finally stands up for itself. Whom do we have to thank for this colorful term? Why, Shakespeare, of course. Lord Clifford, the killer of Rutledge utters:
“To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood” —King Henry VI, part three
gnashing of teeth: to be frustrated. Also known as “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Literally, gnashing one’s teeth means to have one’s “teeth set on edge, or to bite down in pain, anguish, or anger.”* This one is from another popular source, the Bible. It can be found in several places, including Mathew and Luke.
a dish fit for the gods: an offering of highest quality. Another Shakespearean phrase, this time spoke by Brutus in Julius Caesar:
Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar:
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit,
And not dismember Caesar! But, alas,
Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods... –1601
for every thing there is a season: there is an appropriate time for everything, in only we wait for it. So we all know this from Pete Seeger’s song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” But he stole it from the Bible, Ecclesiastes III, to be exact. And he used almost the exact same words…wonder if he gave the Bible credit?
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep –The Byrds, 1952