Monday, 12 March 2012

20. The Shulammite - the madness of love

It's all got a bit hot and steamy around here. We're deep in imagery of fruit and spices. We can smell pomegranates, cinnamon, wine, lilies and incense, as we enter the book Song of Songs today to find 'the Shulammite', a young maiden in the time of King Solomon, as enraptured with her lover as he is with her.

'You're looking nice today' is not part  of their vocabulary. Oh no. Try instead:

'Your graceful legs are like jewels,     
the work of a craftsman's hands. 
Your naval is a rounded goblet 
that never lacks blended wine' 
(Song of Songs 7:2). 

Better stop there.

It is a no holds barred celebration of erotic love, though they have their little 'moments', as do most couples. It's always in the timing isn't it? 

She longs for him in her dreams. She gets up to look for him and finds only the city watchmen. Then at last there he is, to be taken lovingly back to her home. At last he can enjoy her 'garden'... 

Another time he looks for her, banging on her door at night  ('it's damp out here, let me in...') but she's not in the mood ('I have taken off my robe - must I put it on again? I have washed my feet - must I soil them again?' (5: 2-3).)

Then all of a sudden she is in the mood: 'I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh (...) on the handles of the lock...' (OOOHHH, the suspense....) but he's given up and gone home. She's distraught (of course).

It's a hymn of praise to normal, bodily, chaotic, unpredictable, frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting, death defying LURRRRVE.

Amen to that. 


  1. The art is Michael Cook at
    Hope he doesn't mind me using it...

  2. I am loving these stories, but the clincher is the art. i am in awe of the way you have chosen the art. Thank you.

  3. Thank you Wendy. Many people have said the same thing and I do find that the right image really sets the imagination going in regard to the bible character and brings it all more alive. Glad you are enjoying it.