Friday, 28 June 2013

A woman for beauty, a toy for pleasure and a boat for ecstasy

There is a saying attributed to the men of various Mediterranean countries that goes something like 'A woman for duty, a boy for pleasure and a goat for ecstasy' though variants can mention a melon.

Not a goat, not an old man

I had always assumed that this referred to, well - what you are thinking now, but learned this year that it is about companionship and the three ages of man.

A young man's duty is to seek the love of a good woman, and produce children.

Once his sons have grown somewhat he can take great pleasure in sharing his time and aspirations with them (alright, daughters as well, but it is an old saying).

When his children are all grown up and have left home, he can sit in ecstatic silence (rapture) with his goat. All over Greece there are old men who spend each day in quiet companionship with their goats (occasionally a donkey) and if you have seen the old men, but not the goats, it is just that you are too young yet, and not looking in the right way.


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